The Mental Health Legislative Network

MPA has long participated in the Mental Health Legislative Network (MHLN). It is a group of thirty provider and advocacy organizations that support each other’s work, and legislatively address issues related to mental health. The purpose of the group is to advance the understanding of and services to people with mental illness. The view is that as a group more impact can be had. It is the group that organizes Mental Health Day at the capitol each year. Often representatives from the Department of Human Services are in attendance, and occasionally legislators will attend. The MHLN meets weekly when the Minnesota Legislature is in session, and monthly when not in session. It is hosted by either the Mental Health America-Minnesota or NAMI-MN organizations. Their support includes testifying for one another’s bills when needed, as long as they fit with the members’ viewpoint. The MHLN does occasionally act as a unit to write letters of common concern to the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services, payer organizations, the Governor, legislators, and members of Congress.

Participation in the MHLN has been a great support for MPA. They have joined with us on concerns with payers in the past, testified for our bills, and generally provided a greater probability of bill passage. They were especially helpful in dealing with legislation that sought to allow physician assistants to be paid as mental health professionals.

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