Social Policy/Legislation

The New Hampshire chapter supports the legislative and social agenda of the association by advocating and lobbying for social policies that promote social and economic justice. The chapter’s staff and voluntary committee members participate in efforts to

  • increase public awareness about the need for adequate health and social services in New Hampshire,
  • support public officials who speak out on behalf of our goals and professional values, and
  • advocate social reforms that are consistent with the values of the social work profession.

The chapter promotes mental health and substance abuse legislation, such as the New Hampshire Mental Health Parity Law, (enacted in 1994 and amended in 2002), which requires mental health treatment to be covered in the same manner as other health conditions. NASW worked with the NH Mental Coalition to lobby for this amendment. The original NH Parity bill provided coverage no less extensive than coverage for physical illnesses for schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, bipolar disorder, paranoia, and other psychotic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and pervasive developmental disorder or autism. The 2002 amendment extends coverage to all mental health diagnoses and addictions as a benefit in existing riders, but not at parity. It also adds PTSD and eating disorders to the list covered at parity.

The chapter works actively with other organizations and coalitions in New Hampshire on such issues as the state budget for health and human services; health care, managed care and health insurance; family planning; welfare reform; and discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

Chapter staff and volunteers provide testimony at legislative hearings, meet with public officials, cosponsor forums and press releases, and participate in organizational efforts to lobby for social reforms. Visit our committees page for more information.