- The television is shouting another killing event. The perpetrator, who had been telling everyone he felt like killing and had been amassing guns, has also killed himself. We say someone should do something about mental health.
- Your grandchild is afraid to go back to school for fear of being shot. He is afraid, trying to “suck it up,” and has become very quiet. Someone should do something about mental health education at his school.
- You are afraid, have scary dreams and hear voices, and you know you are about to do something not in your usual life scheme. You need help. Someone should do something.
Everyone can do SOMETHING.
In each instance, the someone who should do something may be you.
- You can learn to advocate for yourself.
- You can learn how to advocate for others.
- You can learn how to advocate for groups.
DISCOVER HOW TO DEFINE THE ADVOCATES ROLE YOU CAN PLAY AFTER YOU CONSIDER YOUR
CONSIDER THESE BEFORE YOU DECIDE
Before you decide your advocate role, these two things should be considered:
One: Becoming an advocate is not the same as treating mental illness. An advocate may deal with issues related to mental illness, may organize, demonstrate, become aware and raise awareness to community resources. An advocate would never take the place of a non-judgmental therapist who is trained to listen, keep confidences, know analytical techniques, and can correctly diagnose what is happening in the life of the person seeking treatment.
Two: There is an obvious relationship between mental health and recent mass shootings, however, these shootings may also be a gun problem. More research is required to discover the relationship between the two. We know that only a few of the shooters sought or recieved mental health assistance before they acted.
Since federal and local mental health budgets have been cut, therapists in facilities are often struggling with large case loads. However, it is hard to assess what budget cuts really mean since the new emphasis is on substance abuse, opioid dependency and other categories. Explanation of the budget may be obtained by tweeting questions, meeting with elected officials, calling elected officials and attending town hall meetings. The bottom line is that mental health programs are thirsty for funds. Very telling is the $451 million cut in the new federal budget for training in the health professions. As an advocate there are many ways to have a positive effect on mental illness without dealing with budgets.
Become an Informed Advocate
There are many ways to become an advocate for mental health/mental illness, but you need information. Prepare yourself by reading from the following subjects on this and other sites
- I Didn’t Know I Was An Advocate is a look at the author’s path of discovering that she was an advocate and perhaps find yourself in some of those ways.
- Become An Advocate for Mental Health helps you use your varied gifts and choose your options for your personal form as an advocate.
- Develop Your Advocacy Plan shows guidelines for how to develop your plan after studying the options and fitting them to your gifts and time schedule.
- Social Media as a Means of Advocacy shows how to fit social media into your action plan.
- Understand Pesky Slights – Microaggressions gives surprising words and ideas that are more than pesky slights called microaggressions.
- Poster: Telling Silence is a printable poster reminding the viewer the cost of silence.