Mental Health Advocacy: What can you do?

It’s time to change up some of my postings on here.  We could chalk it up to the Bipolar, but I think it’s just who I am.  I tend to jump around.  I like to keep people guessing.  So, since about 2008 I have volunteered with a suicide prevention charity.  It has been through my work with this charity that I found my voice.  I began to tell my story at our various walks, including our National walk in front of 2,000 people.  Also, we worked closely with our local military base and spoke several times there including an awareness walk of over 2,000 soldiers.  At all of these walks, there was always someone that came up to me to thank me for being so open.  It gave insight to those who had lost someone to suicide and it gave hope to those that were struggling right along with me.  I also had soldiers tell me that they were struggling and ask me what they could do to get help.  It was very empowering.  It made me want to do more.  There had to be a way to improve things.  I found it…advocacy.  By meeting with my national congressional leaders, I have been able to put a face and a voice to those of us that live with mental illness.  It brought it home to them.  So many of them have been touched by either suicide of a friend or family member or have a friend or family member living with a mental illness.  They are starting to listen.  Those of us that speak out to them (through the proper channels) and share our stories and concerns are having an effect.  We can make a difference and have made a difference.  Just last week, I had a meeting with the congressman from my district, not his assistant or intern, but the congressman himself.  He was very interested in what I had to say and wanted to help.  We spoke about ways that he could help the situation.  So I urge you to educate yourself on the bills before congress and contact your congressional offices.  Start with the Health Liasons, they would be an easier way in.  Get to know them.  Change can happen as long as we are respectful and kind.

Thanks for reading!

3 thoughts on “Mental Health Advocacy: What can you do?

  1. “They” are starting to listen…sort of. Peer and Family run advocacy is on the rise. This is great but seems to be based on loss of funding. Keep up the good work and voices like yours are important.

    Like

    1. It was not my intention to focus on loss of funding. It was meant as an example. In my next posts, I will be more mindful of that. Thank you for reading and commenting and letting me know that. I really appreciate it.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s