How Do We Get Out of the Advocacy Bubble?

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I had the opportunity this evening to listen to the Conquer Worry podcast interview with Mental Health Advocates Andy Behrman and Gabe Howard. You should go take a listen to it, the entire thing is well worth your time. There was, however, one area of the podcast that left me questioning myself, and what we do around here, and that was when the guys were talking about “preaching to the choir”. Basically, they pointed out that Gabe’s blog, for example, has a large audience, but they are probably all people who already had an interest in mental health information and aren’t necessarily the people who need to be educated about mental health if we are ever to create a society that doesn’t stigmatize those who are dealing with mental health issues.

As someone who has been blogging about child abuse and mental health for years, that got me thinking. Sure, between my writing here, and the stuff we share on the News and Reviews blog, there is a ton of information being shared out, and I think it provides support and encouragement for those who are dealing with those things in their own lives. That’s what I set out to do, and it’s something I hope to always be able to do!

On the other hand, there are a lot of people out there who do not understand mental illness or child abuse. I’d like to be able to reach those folks, but I know that people without a vested interest in child abuse, for example, are not going to go looking for a site about child abuse survivors.

That’s where you come in. If you’re seeing this, then you are probably one of the folks who already has a decent grasp on the truth about abuse survivors. But you might know a bunch of people who aren’t.

Let me give you an example. I have a Facebook Page tied to this site, but I also have a personal Facebook profile and some other social media accounts related to different things I write about. As it merits, I will sometimes share things from here to those networks. I don’t do it all the time, I don’t want to spam those folks who follow me to talk about technology with stuff from here every day, but where they can cross over, I do it. Or when something strikes me personally, I’ll share that on my personal profile. Because that is where I’m going to reach the folks who weren’t already looking for this information.

If what I do sounds descriptive of how you live your own online life, than let me challenge you. Find a post that resonates with you, on either blog, and share it with your network. Or, share this post with a personal note about how child abuse, or mental illness, has touched your life with your network. Not just with the folks you already interact with about these topics, but outside of that.

And then continue to look for ways to reach beyond the bubble of the online survivor community. Because there are survivors and people dealing with mental health problems all around us, and there are also those who remain uneducated about those topics all around us as well.

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