Interested in helping out? Below are some relatively quick and simple measures you can take to improve the lives of your fellow humans.
1) Donate to mutual aid groups.
- Venmo: @mutualaidbrookline
- CashApp: $mutualaidbrookline
- Personal checks: Refer to [this page]
- Donations: Refer to [this page]
- GoFundMe: [Direct link]
- Donations (PayPal, Venmo): Refer to [this page]
- Donations: [Direct link]
- Donations (Venmo): Refer to [this page]
- Donations (Venmo, PayPal, CashApp): Refer to [website]
- Donations (Venmo, personal check): Refer to [this page]
- PayPal: Select "South Boston Aid Network" in the dropdown menu on [this page]
2) Contact your state legislators on behalf of our working group.
First, use this link to find your state representative/senator:
Then, create an email with the following subject & body. (You are welcome to word this more strongly if your rep sucks.)
Comrade Rosie says: Adequate mental health care is a right!
[Senator/Representative] [Recipient Name],
I'm writing to you on behalf of the Comrade Rosie Project, a collective effort started by members of the Mental Health Working Group of the Boston chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. We believe in the universal right to health care, housing, and infrastructure, regardless of ability to pay, and that mental health care is a right - not a luxury - for those of us who struggle with mental illness and/or addiction. You can find out more on our website, https://www.comrade-rosie.org/.
I'm sending you this message to present to you and your colleagues our list of asks in regard to individuals who struggle with mental illness and addiction, all of which members of the state legislature have the power to work for:
Non-911 emergency response for mental health crises
Require establishment of teams (similar to Boston's BEST team) to serve other counties
Funding for such teams replace funding for unnecessary law enforcement intervention
Crisis intervention does not trigger automatic incident report w/ police dept
Treatment regardless of ability to pay
Increased access to novel therapies (e.g. ketamine therapy, somatic/neurobiologically informed trauma treatment) & safe injection sites
Consistent DRT/MAT -- doesn't place undue burden on patients
Minimal co-payments for psychiatric medications
Restorative and rehabilitative justice
Assisted outpatient for, e.g. those who struggle with schizophrenia, bipolar
Substance use disorders treated as disease rather than moral deficiency
Continuity of care, support for healthy societal reintegration [stable housing, medical & transit]
Protections for workers
Investigations into allegations of harassment (sexual and otherwise) in the workplace -- without conflicts of corporate interest
The right to earn a living wage on a consistent work schedule
For many of us with mental illness and substance use disorders, our daily struggles are quite literally matters of life and death. We implore you, our representatives, to do everything in your power to help make Massachusetts a safer and more supportive place for us and our peers.
3) Visit the National Alliance on Mental Health [NAMI] website.
They have a simple table of legislative actions that you can take [remotely, from your device].
4) Talk to us.
We love welcoming new comrades into our project. If you feel up to it, please share with us your experiences with the for-profit healthcare system. Even if you just want some help, we are here for that, too.
Contact us [here].