MHADC’s advocacy takes many forms. We keep an eye on county, state, and federal legislation, advising officials about programs and policies that contribute to mental and emotional wellness. We work to make sure existing programs are well-managed and adequately funded. And, we help individuals navigate the system so they have what’s needed to get well.

Legislative efforts

At least once a year, MHADC joins similar organizations from around the state to talk with our legislators in Albany, NY. We also meet regularly with Dutchess County officials and serve on various committees and task forces related to mental health.

Advocating for children

Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) act for children in or at risk for foster care placement. Trained volunteers ensure that cases progress promptly through the system. MHADC’s CASA is part of state and national networks that set standards for quality and performance. Children must be referred to CASA by a Family Court judge. For details, or to learn about becoming a volunteer advocate, contact Desiree King at 845-473-2500, ext. 1375.

Helping adults advocate for themselves & their families

MHADC’s experienced staff can explain the rights of adults experiencing mental illness and help you identify and enroll in social service programs, schools, clinics, and substance abuse agencies. MHADC wants to be sure you receive the help you and your family need. For additional information, contact Margie Tortorella, resource specialist for Family Support and Advocacy Services, at 845-473-2500, ext. 1316.

Our EMERGE program also provides advocacy, home visits, and a range of courses designed to help participants set goals, improve parenting skills, and develop strategies that prepare families for disruptions arising from a parent’s illness. Find courses on the calendar under: EMERGE, Wellness Recovery Action Plan, Advance Directives, Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model, and others. For additional information, contact Sue Luongo at 845-473-2500, ext. 1321.