This post is offered as part of the American Psychological Association‘s Mental Health Month Blog Party today, May 18, 2010.
What does Mental Health advocacy mean to me?
For me it is about making people more aware of their own mental health, destigmatising mental illness in our community, and engaging in activism that ensures mental health services are adequately funded and resourced.
It’s because I know what it’s like to live with anxiety and depression, and for the past few years I’ve watched my sibling be hospitalised for months on end because of chronic, resistant schizoaffective disorder. I know about the social isolation: my sibling feels it in the many ‘friends’ who haven’t maintained contact and I feel it having stopped working to care for her.
I tweet and post everyday about mental health and mental ill-health. I speak with politicians. I network with fellow carers, consumers, peak organisations, psychiatrists, etc. And occasionally I blog.
What’s the end goal of my activism?
- I’m keen to see a greater provision of sub-acute mental health services in Australia.
- I’m hoping to find disability employment services that cater for my sibling have staff trained to assist people with chronic mental illness find meaningful work that they can keep.
- I’m looking for compassionate politicians that don’t push people off disability payments, because it’s politically expedient, nor make it hard for people with chronic mental ill-health to get on a disability payment.
That’s why I advocate loud and clear for all to hear.