Mental health advocates are a key element to promoting mental health in our schools.  Advocates aim to show their support those who are struggling, while at the same time building awareness of the challenges with mental health for students.  At their root, advocates give voice for those who do not have a voice.

Advocacy means going beyond simply learning about mental health to actively taking efforts to help the cause.  Most importantly, there is a role for everyone to be an advocate, regardless of your own personal strengths.

How do I become a mental health advocate?

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) mentions that sharing your own personal story, whether in person or through social media, gives voice to the issue.  But even for those who might not be comfortable sharing their story have several other steps they can do:

  • Support someone who needs help
  • Volunteer for a local mental health organization
  • Attend an awareness walk or other event benefiting the mental health movement
  • Encourage your local politicians to prioritize mental health
  • Correct those who use stigmatizing language
Red sign painted on open hand with words stop stigma

Reducing the Stigma Around Mental Illness

One of the main barriers advocacy helps to overcome is the stigma of mental illness being a sign of personal weakness.