Get Involved in Advocacy
Becoming an active participant in politics is another great way to get your voice heard. Put your thinking cap on and figure out creative ways to spread the word. Writing letters, making call and visiting legislators are all great, but think outside the box and take your commitment to the next level.
Here are a few ideas:
- Support in other ways. If money is a problem but you still want to support the candidate, volunteer to stuff envelopes, make calls, distribute literature, anything you can do to spread the word.
- Form a committee. Find others who have the same passion! There’s always strength in numbers! Find others that have the same interests and views. Ask them to serve on your committee and assist you in outreach activities. If your members are not as knowledgeable as you are on the issues, train them.
- Arm your committee with the right tools. Give your members the tools they’ll need to implement the plan. Send legislative updates, detailed information about specific legislation and message points.
- Get to know others who support your cause. Find other organizations, individuals, and businesses that are supportive of mental health issues such as your local American Psychiatric Association local chapter, researchers at universities. Reach out to these groups to see if they will join you in implementing your plan.
- Host a get together. Conduct a Brown Bag Lunch for legislative staffers to educate them about your issues. You can also do a panel discussion or a “get to know each other” meeting.
- Use the media to get your message out. Follow stories in your local paper on mental health issues. Who is the reporter covering the story? Keep a log of reporters and what stories they have reported on. Communicate with them and use a personal story to hook them. Or write a letter to the editor talking about the legislation and why it should become a law.
These are just a few ideas, see how many other great ideas you can come up with. Most importantly, don’t get discouraged, it may take many attempts and different approaches to get your message out.