The basic idea behind mental health advocacy is supporting the patients by spreading awareness and dispelling stigma. Advocacy doesn’t have to be complex, as long as the approach is right. Whether it’s through spreading the word about alternative mental health remedies like CBD products from Joy Organics or educating others through outreach, you can make a lasting impact on the lives of mental health patients.
Here are some tips on how to better advocate for mental health issues:
1. Gather More Education About Mental Health
Like cancer, mental illness is an issue that requires a deeper understanding. However, society needs proper education to break down the stigma and negative stereotypes. In most cases, these stigmas prevent families from reaching out for help and instead end up overmedicating.
When you educate yourself about mental health, you become more adept at empowering others. There are numerous groups with educational resources that you can use, and they will also provide you with the opportunity to meet people with real-life mental health journeys.
You can talk with people who have dealt with mental health issues and look into how they overcame them. You can examine past advocacy efforts that are in line with the issues you want to tackle. This can help you understand how things have changed over time. Once you learn about various aspects of mental health, it becomes easy to dispel myths.
2. Share Your Story
Mental health advocacy needs more people who can share first-hand experiences about mental illness. When you share your journey, you help other people see mental health from a different perspective and become more optimistic about mental health patients.
While you might think that your most trying moments are disheartening, it could be just what other people need to make it through. The experience can be unique, but someone else is probably going through the same thing. Most importantly, it helps dispel cultural stigma.
3. Ask Patients What They Need
Similar to any other form of advocacy, you need to understand the needs of mental health patients. To start, you need to interact with the patients and ask good questions that help you understand what they need most.
Regardless of the patient’s condition, the worst thing you can do is be judgmental, as it prevents you from understanding what the patient is going through.
4. Be Kind to Mental Health Patients
The families of people living with mental illnesses often persevere through many difficult situations, even when the community around them has given up. In most cases, living with a mental health issue can be isolating.
Unfortunately, families living with mental illness patients become isolated because the community around them tends to fear them. You should encourage the people around you to be kind to mental health victims.
An effective advocacy journey starts with getting informed about the most critical issues in mental health. While you may not change people’s mindsets in an instant, you can become a beacon of hope for mental health patients.