Man with megaphone

Sharing – How Mental Health Advocacy Helps Me Bridge Gaps

I love how Jason describes his advocacy:

“At most beaches, it is considered common courtesy if you dig a hole, you have to refill it, so beachgoers will not trip in the dark, or sea turtles will not get trapped. We should fill the holes left by ourselves or by others, so those who come after us will have a smoother path forward.”

How often do I see people talking about “wanting to be an advocate” and waiting for someone to invite them to be some sort of official spokesperson as if that is what makes one an advocate. It’s not. Advocates see holes and fill them. Sometimes that’s volunteering to work with kids, sometimes it’s telling your story, and sometimes it’s just seeing the people around you dealing with child abuse or mental health and letting them know they aren’t alone.

Personally, my advocacy is this blog, social media, and other areas where I think my lived experience, my story, would be beneficial to share. Sometimes it’s doing a fundraiser or attending an event to help raise money, and sometimes it’s simply sharing some other resource that I think would be helpful to folks.

Advocacy isn’t one thing, it’s seeing a hole and trying to fill it. It’s something as simple as reading a blog post and thinking, “you know, I know someone who would be helped by reading this”, and sending it to them, just as much as it’s speaking to hundreds of people in person.

So, don’t wait for someone to ask you to advocate, look for holes you can fill, and work to do so. Believe me, we need all of us.

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