Ways to Advocate for the Mentally Ill

Do you see the homeless, the mentally ill, someone in a psychiatric hospital or jail be abused or mistreated?

Does it bother you when you see yet another mentally ill person shot and killed?

Have you watched your loved one with a mental illness get mistreated by a paramedic, doctor, nurse, policeman, teacher, lawyer, or judge because they were stigmatized?

Do you see the stigma of mental illness preventing people from getting much needed help?

When you see Hollywood or the media depict the mentally ill in a wrong way, does it make you feel disgusted?

Have you or someone you loved spent hours if not days waiting for a psychiatric bed?

Has someone you know been told they can’t be helped because they don’t meet the standards? “They have to be a threat to themselves or others”

As a loved one, have you tried to be a part in the care of your mentally ill loved one to find out because of HIPPA, you can’t discuss anything about them with their medical professionals treating them?

Have you ever spoken to a cop or medical professional explaining how much your loved one or friend is in crisis to just be told that they don’t see it that way. You become frustrated because you know them best.

Have you just been diagnosed with a mental illness and have no clue where to go to learn more about your illness and get help if you need support or guidance?

Do you feel like you are weak because you have a mental illness because you have been programmed all your life that the mentally ill are bad people who just can’t handle the stress of life?

Does it bother you when you hear that yet another soldier, police officer, young child, etc has committed suicide.

Do you wish more was taught about mental health in school?

Do you not know anyone personally who has been affected by stigma or mental illness, you probably are one of the very few. Mental illness effects 1 in 4 people.

If you do have a mental illness, do you want to do something to better the system for you and other mentally ill people? Do you want to share your experiences to help others? Is your loved one motivating you to change the system? Are you someone who is just fed up with the way the mentally ill are being treated and want to do something about it? Are you a politician and want to pass legislation to help the mentally ill? Are you in the media and want to better educate the public about mental health? Are you a celebrity and have a mental illness and want to share that you have a mental illness to help erase the stigma and make people know that it can affect anyone? Are you someone with influence who can help with the cause of getting the homeless off the street, the mentally ill the care they need, the public educated, the stigma erased, and see better facilities? Are you mentally ill and just want to advocate for yourself by getting the help you need?

If so, you are now considered an advocate and we need you. There is no right or wrong way to advocate, but here are some suggestions. If you have more, please write me at bipolarbandit@gmail.com and I will add them to the list.

Start calling your lawmakers asking for better facilities, better education to the public to eradicate stigma, let them know that people need to be aware of where they can get help, and more research needs to be done. Use your own experiences and be open and honest so your passion shows through so you are taken seriously. Directory of Politicians to Contact

How to Write a Letter or Email

You can also get involved with local psychiatric hospitals and get on boards that are making things better for the mentally ill in your area.

Some Organizations You might want to look into .

(NAMI especially has great ideas)

Contact the Media

Know the famous people who struggle with mental illnesses so you can use them as references to show that anyone can be affected by mental illness and possibly even contact them for help.

Famous People with Mental Illnesses

Get involved with other advocates FB Group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and Mental Health Advocates United and Mental Health Advocates Making a Difference

Consider joining these are look up other places on the internet of groups you can join for the specific mental illness your loved one has. There are also many support groups for all the mental illnesses.

You might also want to check out website to see how others have advocated for themselves or others.

Ideas of what to say to Someone who is Struggling with just About Anything (Divided by Kinds of Struggles)

Volunteer at a homeless shelter or Suicide Hotline.

If you have more ideas that should be added to this list, email me at bipolarbandit@gmail.com

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Note: After all the blog links there is more valuable information including how to starthelping in more specific ways and how to self-advocate.

Here are some examples of blogs showing how I advocate.

I Have a Dream (Re: Mental Illness)

What is required to be a Mental Health Care Advocate?

Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses Need to Unite

There is Hope: Mental Health Conference at White House

Thank an Advocate Challenge

Candidates-Do you care about the mentally ill? PROVE IT!

Why Shhh…Don’t Tell Doesn’t Work

Mental Illness Issue? Make Your Politicians Accountable!

Interview with DJ Jaffe- Author, Mental Health Advocate, and Executive Director of MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Author, Speaker, Advocate: Natasha Tracy Explained

Website of over 300 advocates telling their stories and how they advocate

Mental Health Advocates Call to Action: A Suicidal US Navy Seaman is Punished for having a Mental Illness: Let’s not let this happen again!

A Successful Story- A police Officer and a Person With Schizophrenia

My Mentally Ill Son vs Your son with Another Type of Illness

Sons with Schizophrenia: A Tale of Three Mothers

Encouragement from a Political Mental Health Advocate and News Channel

Markle, Mental Health, and the Media Messing up the Message

Interview with Author of Hear The Music- She is the Sister of The Soloist-A Musician with Schizophrenia

Email to Representative Patrick McHenry Re: Suicidal Navy Soldier being Punished for having a Mental Illness

Memorial Day: Remembering ALL Soldiers who have lost their lives!

Candidates-Do you care about the mentally ill? PROVE IT!

I Have a Dream Re: Mental Illness

Mental Illness Issue? Make Your Politicians Accountable!

The Presidential Candidates Need to Talk about Mental Health

March Madness when it comes to Politics and Mental Health

What needs to Change in the Mental Health System

What People are Doing for Mental Health Awareness Month

How it can take ONE MINUTE to Start to Change the Mental Health System

Sanders- Will he talk about the mental health crisis?

Will Trump Make America Great for Everyone?

Does Kasich have a solution to the mental health crisis like he says he does

Trump vs Clinton: Who will have the vote of the mentally ill?

To Governor Bush: Was it the Right Decision?

Dear Dr.Rand Paul, We need your help!

Weeks/Months/Days Dedicated to Mental Health Topics

Mental Health Awareness Day & Thanks to Some Governors

Email I sent to Governors Re: Mental Illness Awareness Week October 2013

What They are not Talking about at the Debates

Young Minds Matter

Mental Health Should be a Priority

The Presidential Candidates Need to Talk about Mental Health

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Facts and Information for Mental Health Month

Published Letter to the Editor: Major Overhaul Needed Re: Mental Health System

Is Society to Blame for the Mental Health Care System not working?

Brandon Marshall Needs to Be Commended

Mental Health Matters : A New Resource

Email I sent to Representatives in the General Assembly in NC

Why June 3rd Is an Important Day in the US, Who is Invited, and What is the Agenda?

Why Reflecting on Mental Health Month is Important if You have a Mental Illness

Good News: Mental Illness is Being Talked about!

Has the Talk about Mental Illness regarding recent shootings over?

Mental Illness Awareness Week Being Observed in 2013! Petition2Congress

How much attention will Mental Illness Awareness week get?

The Stigma of the Mentally Ill is Hurting America

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I am constantly writing blogs and letters, posting things on social media, making phone calls, seeing people in person, ran a local event to raise awareness, and run the largest FB Group for Advocates.

However, I am just one voice. My philosophy from the very beginning is that the advocates need to unite to have a larger voice. We have all these organizations with their own causes and niches and even though I have tried effortlessly to join together and make a bigger impact, so far it has not worked. The Frustrations of Being a Mental Health Advocate and The Frustrations of a Mental Health Advocate

I won’t give up and will fight until the day I die to make the world a better place for the mentally ill. All the horrible experiences (one example)I have had will all be worth it if I can die staying the stigma is erased and the mentally ill are well taken care of.

JOIN ME!!!!! Let’s join hands and change the world for the Let’s create a place where mental illnesses are treated like physical illnesses. Let’s get it to where the mentally ill are no longer viewed as menaces to society and treated with respect. We can make it so there are enough facilities, more people trained to deal with mentally (police for example.), ntally ill don’t have to deal with the stigma. The stigma will be eradicated! Families will be able to help their loved ones, the public will know where to find resources and not be ashamed to seek out help.

Most importantly, the mentally ill and their families won’t have to deal with the stigma. The stigma will be eradicated!

Join other advocates Here:

Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses

NEW AND UPCOMING!!! Mental Health Advocates Making a Difference

Mental Health Advocates United currently looking for contributors/ administrators) Contact Michelle at bipolarbandit@gmail.com if interested.

If I can help you in any way, I would be more than happy to. I have over 30 guest posts and welcome others so people can share their stories and experiences and offer tips. I also will share your blogs, websites, book, and social media sites. MY BLOG

If you are an organization, company, or individual that would be willing to help out, please contact me at bipolarbandit@gmail.com BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION!

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To self advocate

Sometimes, all you can do is get through the day. That is okay. That is when you focus your energies on taking care of yourself. The time to help others or join a cause can happen when you are feeling better.

Join a support group, get an accountability partner, take simple steps, follow your doctor’s orders, get a network of friends who know all about your illness and can step in if you are in crisis. I have found it helpful to blog. If you don’t want to do that, I highly suggest you journal.

Make sure you eat right, exercise, set goals for yourself, and seek out help if you need it.

Suicide Prevention Help Line and NAMI

Some blogs I have written that might help:

I’ve Been Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Now what?Depression

Tips by a Person who Suffers from Depression due to Bipolar Disorder

3 thoughts on “Ways to Advocate for the Mentally Ill

  1. Pingback: What Mental Advocates Are Asking For | Bipolar Bandit

  2. Pingback: Watch Out Social Media! Hypomania Working Against You | Bipolar Bandit

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