Do you want to learn how to become a Mental Health Advocate? If so, keep reading.
Hi. This is Karl Shallowhorn with the bp Magazine bphope.com vlog. Today I’m going to be talking to you about what it means to be an advocate; an advocate for someone living with bipolar disorder. An advocate is someone who is willing to publicly speak out about a cause. That’s what advocacy is all about. So here are some of the things you can do to become a mental health advocate:
First of all, you may want to consider contacting your local NAMI Chapter. NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness and they have chapters all across the United States. By being involved with NAMI you can participate in their program called In Our Own Voice or even Family to Family where you can speak to groups and individuals and organizations about what it means to have a mental health condition and your own lived experience.
Another thing you can do is get in touch with the Mental Health Association chapter in your area. Mental Health Associations have affiliates all over the country and the parent organization is Mental Health America which is an education and public policy-based organization. By getting involved with the Mental Health Association and Mental Health America you become educated about what you need to do to let people know about our cause.
Another national organization in the U.S is the National Council on Behavioral Health which does a lot of work in the area of public policy and is also the parent organization for Mental Health First Aid. You can find them on the web and find out about what they are doing.
But more importantly than anything, you can talk to your elected officials. So whether you live in the United States or anywhere else in the world, you can speak to your elected officials at the local level, or the national level, or at the regional level, or the state level about mental health and the importance of it being recognized in terms of what we can do to let others know how important it is to preserve our mental health and be healthy.
One thing that has helped in the United States in this area is the idea of parity. So, parity is the idea of mental health being treated and considered just as importantly as physical health in terms of insurance policies and payments and everything like that, so parity has been a big deal but it all came out of advocacy.
Finally, another thing you can do is get involved with social media, whether it be through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or tumblr. Also, you can write your own blog, which is how I got started. I have a blog now that I write. So, that’s something you can do on your own and that’s another way to advance the cause for mental health and bipolar disorder.
So, hopefully these things have helped. If you have ideas of your own please feel free to leave a comment below. For the bp Magazine bphope.com vlog I’m Karl Shallowhorn. Be well.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community