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Comments on
Three Easy Steps to Becoming a Mental Health Advocate

I receive a lot of e-mail, direct messages, and phone calls asking me a variety of questions. With the exception of specific questions about living with mental illness, the most asked question has to do with my advocacy work or how to become an advocate themselves. While there is no guarantee what part you can play in the advocacy world, literally anyone can become a mental health advocate by following these three easy steps.

Becoming a Mental Health Advocate, Step One

The first step toward becoming a mental health advocate is to remove all expectations. I truly mean all expectations. Don’t expect to become the next Patrick Kennedy, Pete Earley, or even a well-read blogger like me or many others. You simply cannot know where you will fit in or how long it will take to reach any level.

10 Comments to
Three Easy Steps to Becoming a Mental Health Advocate

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  1. Gabe,

    Thank you so much for being a great mental health advocate. I really appreciate your blog and the honesty of your words. Keep on talking about the “taboo” issues. Those are the ones that really need to be discussed.

    • Thank you. 🙂 I will!

  2. It is far from healthy to sacrifice your own well being for any cause. Any mental health expert will tell you that you have to take care of your self first before you can
    Give to others.

    • Agreed, CG. Thank you for reading and commenting. 🙂 ~Gabe

  3. This is a great overview, and I like the caution about how long (and difficult) a road it is to make change happen! I know you are limited in how much you can write, but I am left wondering about the specifics of how you got started. Maybe you can share your personal story in a follow-up article one day! 🙂

  4. Hi, My name is Ayana Wright and I am a recent graduate wanting to become an advocate in mental health. I currently work in social services and I thought that I wanted to get my masters in Clinical Mental Health counseling but now that I have built a rapport with my consumers I now want to go to law school to become a lawyer for mental health. My goal is to be an advocate for the mental health population but should I master in a field before I go to law school because I want to be able to counsel or should I just go to law school to become an advocate? Are there other feasible ways to become certified and have the credentials to be a paid advocate?

  5. Gabe, You are an inspiration and I love all the hard work you do for mental health awareness. It is hard work. I am barely able to meet step one, but I am passionate about bringing awareness into common conversation. I lost a son to a mental illness, diagnosed at 12, lost at 20, but the MAJOR hurdle was what our family did not know. Making this a common subject with everyone is paramount! It is hard to put yourself out front, there are few kudos, and you have to be strong. Comments can be cruel.

    Just – thanks – your efforts, posts, blogs, are very appreciated.

    Take care of you and yours

  6. Im interested and am very happy to see you doing so well Gabe, even with your MH issue, im sure if you need to slow down naturally you will. I don’t think ill be able to push as far as you have, BUT, id like to try too, well done Gabe.

  7. Hi Dave, thanks so much for sharing. I’m seeking out ways to help those with dual diagnosis in order to reduce and or stop the vicious cycle of the judicial system of the revolving door that just incarcerate but not educate and empower the people.I believe that if you teach a man to fish he will never go hungry.Knowledge is power and it would help society as a whole to help the ones with dual diagnosis. If you could suggest some steps to get involved I would appreciate it.Thanks in advance

  8. URGENT!!!
    I am a member of a church support group for people who are “wounded”. One of our members, Becky, tried to kill herself sometime ago by overdosing on prescription medicine, this was some period of time before our group formed. We are led by laypersons with no mental health training. Becky has very emotional outbursts and sobs a lot during our meetings. Another layperson group member, Paula, says she is a “Mental Health Advocate” and passes out her business cards. Paula usually takes Becky out of the room to a public(?) room in the building. My own L.C.S.W says that this is a very dangerous and risky situation. Becky’s emotional outbursts are stifling the group dynamics since others feel their problems are “not as serious as Becky’s”. But everyone has serious issues and I think I’m the only one seeing a licensed therapist. I am concerned about liability and the others in the group. What do you advise??????


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