In February 2008, Justice Stratton was invited to give the keynote address at a gathering of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI is an association of families and friends of persons with mental illness who provide education, training and support for one another. Founded in 1979, NAMI is dedicated to the eradication of mental illnesses and to the improvement of the quality of life for persons of all ages who are affected by mental illnesses. In Ohio, NAMI has partnered with Justice Stratton and the Supreme Court's Advisory Committee on Mental Illness in the Courts (ACMIC) to promote many important mental health initiatives.
Justice Stratton brought a message of hope and encouragement to the audience. In times of shrinking budgets and a declining number of quality mental health facilities, she reminded the gathering that Ohio leads the nation in many aspects of mental health management. Justice Stratton highlighted the fact that Ohio had 35 mental health courts, more than one fifth of the total for the entire country; 77 drug courts, the most per capita in the country; and a number of specialized court dockets, including DUI and re-entry courts, designed to aid in an offenders' transition back into community.
She told the group that Ohio is a leader in crisis intervention training (CIT) where state and local law enforcement officers learn the skills they need to deal with mental illness - safely and compassionately. She praised the audience for accomplishing so much with so few sources of funds. She applauded the efforts of Ohio's courts, agencies and mental health providers who have worked together to develop innovative new methods for dealing with those persons with mental illness who find themselves entangled in the criminal justice system. Justice Stratton told the group that in speaking about mental health issues in forums throughout the United States, she has come to realize that Ohio is truly recognized as a national leader in this area.