Advocacy Initiatives

Advocacy initiatives are issues we feel are important to highlight due to their impact on mental health, crisis services, suicide prevention, and more.

988 Suicide Crisis Lifeline

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. The 988 Lifeline is the first step in reimagining our crisis response. Every person in crisis deserves a system that meets them where they are, including:

  • 24/7 crisis call centers (“someone to talk to”)
  • Mobile crisis teams (“someone to respond”)
  • Crisis stabilization options (“a safe place to go”)

But there’s more work to do to ensure everyone receives the compassionate and comprehensive help they need.

Take Action on Crisis Advocacy Through the NAMI Action Center

Learn More on Reimagining Crisis Response

Crisis Intervention Team (CIT)

Far too often, police officers are the first to respond to situations involving a mental health crisis. A Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is a community-based approach to improve outcomes by keeping everyone safe, and people in crisis out of jail and in treatment.

CIT programs give police officers more tools to do their job safely and effectively and create partnerships between law enforcement, mental health providers, hospital emergency services, advocates, and people with mental conditions and their families.

Benefits of CIT      What is CIT?

To identify CIT opportunities in Allegheny County, email us at To inquire about CIT in another county, contact your local NAMI Affiliate.

SAFE Task Force

The mission of the SAFE Task Force of Allegheny County is to prevent suicide by raising awareness, breaking the stigma, and providing culturally sensitive support, education, and resources to the community. The SAFE Task Force is supported by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services and coordinated by NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania.

Explore SAFE Resources and Support


First Episode Psychosis

First Episode Psychosis programs help young people with symptoms of serious mental illness get the treatment they need to get better, get their lives on track, and pursue their life goals. Research conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) shows that, compared to typical care, people with early psychosis who receive Coordinated Specialty Care in FEP programs (CSC-FEP) experience greater improvement in their symptoms, relationships, and quality of life; are more involved in work or school; and stay in treatment longer.

  Pennsylvania has multiple FEP program sites across the state.  
  To find a center near you, visit HeadsUp PA.

What It Feels Like To Be In Psychosis
Experiencing A Psychotic Break Doesn’t Mean You’re Broken
Responding To Bipolar Psychotic Symptoms
Improving Our Understanding And Education About Psychosis
My Reality During A Psychotic Episode
Finding My Purpose After Psychosis

Tardive Dyskinesia

Tardive dyskinesia, or TD, is a condition of uncontrollable movements affecting the face, torso, and/or other body parts. TD may develop after a few months of taking certain medications to treat bipolar disorder, depression, or schizophrenia. Not only can TD be disruptive, but it can also impact someone’s emotional and social well-being.

Learn More about TD

People First Language

Words matter and using certain words or phrases when talking about mental health can perpetuate stigma and negative stereotypes. It can also hurt someone’s feelings and damage relationships. People-first language puts the focus on the person, and not their diagnosis or condition.
NAMI’s Inclusive Language Guide

Person-First Language to Reduce Stigma