Strategies for Success

Becoming a Mental Health Advocate

As people living with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder gain strength in their recovery journey, they may want to take an active role in helping other people with mental health conditions.

People with mental health conditions might advocate for medication and disease research. They may also push for advancements and educate the public about living with a mental health condition and the stigma that exists. Advocates put a human face to their conditions. They choose to put their time and energy into issues that matter most to them.

Today, there are many local and national organizations that advocate for people with serious mental health conditions. These groups educate the public and bring the truth to light—that people with mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, are equal and productive members of society.

Ways to Become More Involved in Advocacy Include:

  • Becoming a member of a local chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Mental Health America, or another advocacy organization
  • Attending conferences and seminars
  • Joining a support group
  • Training to become a certified peer specialist or family-to-family educator
  • Being informed about mental health policies
  • Writing letters to political representatives (members of Congress, senators, mayors, etc) to educate them about mental illness or to offer your opinion on a specific policy
  • Voting for elected officials who are supportive of policies that help people with mental health conditions
  • Attending marches and protests
  • Helping reduce stigma by educating friends, family, and other people about mental health conditions, and answering any questions they might have

What’s next?

Treatment Team Center