- Posted by I'esha Hornes
- On February 7, 2017
Being an advocate means fighting for something bigger than yourself for someone who shouldn’t have to fight alone. When it comes to mental health advocacy, I’m all about voicing your concerns in a productive and strategic way that lends authenticity and compassion to others.
In this post, I’ll talk about the 3 Best Mental Health Advocacy Tips that will transform your life and the lives of those impacted by various types of mental health problems.
As a self-advocate, I learned that my experiences and struggles can be overcome and transformed into a lesson for those still within the challenge, themselves. By using my life as a model for mental health recovery, I shed light on stigmas associated with mental health. I also highlight ways to live despite challenges that I face daily.
I had the pleasure of putting myself in that role recently, and it was a remarkable experience. Advocating with thousands of others for a cause that affects me and my loved ones, changed the way I view advocacy. It’s not just talking about mental health, but vigorously promoting change and compassion for the community.
Below, you’ll find 3 Mental Health Advocacy tips that will benefit you in your journey to advocacy, change-making, and positive growth.
Mental Health Advocate Tip #1
Talk About It:
I have mental health issues and I have major depression. Point Blank. I’m no longer ashamed of discussing it or putting it out in the open. I’ve learned that what I’m dealing with (mental illness) is not me, but just a circumstance that I’m in.
So discussing the topic with friends and family who inquire has become easier for me. I take the time to answer questions about being a mental health advocate. I answer questions about the symptoms of mental illness and how they differ for everyone. I also provide resources for those seeking therapy for depression or getting help for depression.
As an advocate, it’s my responsibility to encourage those in need to seek mental health programs in their locality. By providing positive mental health promotion, I help end the stigma associated with mental health and mood disorders.
Mental Health Advocate Tip #2
Fight The Power:
By educating yourself on mental health reform, mental health care policy (Mental Health Care Act, and mental health issues regarding discrimination, legislation, you can make a huge impact on your community.
Volunteer to help others after they’ve been discharged from mental health treatment centers. You can support others by helping them find mental health assessment tools, online mental health services, and alternative treatments for depression.
You can be the one to advocate therapy for mental health challenges and depression. Encouraging someone new to the community that the road to depression recovery or mental health recovery, doesn’t have to be a long lonely one.
Mental Health Advocate Tip #3
Plan to Succeed:
I’m not a certified mental health counselor, but I’m willing to sit down with those needing a listening ear. Most of the time, that’s all people want, someone to hear them out.
Inpatient mental health treatment has its advantages, but what happens when you are discharged? Develop a plan to succeed and grow from mental illness to mental wellness.
Try not to allow the stress of depression impact you negatively to the point that you isolate yourself from the rest of the world, with fear. Depression stress is the worst kind, keeping you from being productive on your road to mental health recovery.
Self-Advocacy is about setting a game-plan for yourself to avoid having to return to the hospital. It is with your customized mental health recovery model that you can gain perspective on how you can defeat mental illness, the stigmas that come with it, and come out on the other side thriving.
Overall, advocacy is all about making positive change for yourself and others like you. You can learn the system, then put what you learn to use. By educating others on the things you know, you pass that information to those that really need.
By writing letters, attending legislative meetings, voting, and keeping your ear to the wire to learn policy changes and news, you set yourself to be an incredible advocate for mental health.
Tell me how you advocate for mental health. If you have other ideas to advocate, please leave a comment below and share!