What is advocacy?
Advocacy is the action taken to influence or produce broad change to ensure fair treatment and social justice for people living with mental illness and their carers.
Breaking down these barriers doesn’t just happen. A great deal of expertise goes into collaboration, research, recommendations, lobbying and education. All these parts work together to create an inclusive community where everyone can lead a positive life.
One Door Mental Health understands that an important part of advocacy is working with carers of people with lived experience of mental health issues. We can help people advocate around a particular issue related to themselves or a loved one, providing support to focus on an issue, build support through awareness raising and organising and use advocacy tools such as participant meetings, online campaigns, letter writing and public events. One Door can also help present information to the public, write news media releases and conduct interviews, as well as finding allies, meeting politicians, lobbying and fundraising.
A key part of advocacy for One Door Mental Health is ending the stigma of mental illness. We would like to see a world where people with mental illness are treated the same as other citizens. One Door aims to reduce stigma through a number of strategies. These strategies include hiring staff with lived experience of mental health issues, hosting our yearly mental health Symposium and organising the yearly Wellness Walk.
One Door Mental Health’s CEO, Kathi Boorman regularly meets with members of parliament and other key decision makers in government to ensure that the voices of those with lived experience are heard.
Unfortunately One Door Mental Health cannot offer individual advocacy services. An individual advocacy service is one that seeks to represent the rights and interests of people with a mental illness on a one-to-one basis. Individual advocacy generally focuses on addressing specific instances of discrimination, abuse and neglect. For more information about individual advocacy, for yourself or someone close to you, please speak to your social worker, counsellor or support coordinator.