There will be times in your life when you are your biggest cheerleader. During these seasons, it is important to learn the art of self-advocacy. Learning how to advocate for yourself is a key aspect of seeking treatment and healing. At Corner Canyon Health Centers, we encourage you to advocate for yourself and are here to listen.
Importance of Advocating for Yourself
Advocating for yourself requires a level of confidence in your feelings. You have to trust your own emotions so you can communicate them to your care team. Advocating doesn’t mean you know best. You’re not a doctor, after all, but it means demanding respect and being heard.
Without that advocacy, you can be misdiagnosed or ignored. When you feel something is wrong, speak up. Advocacy is a method of promoting the human rights of people with mental disorders and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness. This is so important for treating mental health with the utmost care and focus.
Some examples of how self-advocacy impacts mental health treatment for the individual include:
- Improving understanding of mental health for family and friends
- Better mental health outcomes
- Increases feelings of autonomy
- Allows for more agency in your life
- Provides self-compassion and self-empowerment
- Helps you gain control over your care
- Improves independence
- Helps build the ability to cope
Self-advocacy also impacts mental health treatment on a wider scale through:
- Increasing access to mental health services
- Making mental health services more affordable
- Improving the quality of care in mental health facilities
- Illustrating your right to self-determination and need for information about treatments
- Educating the public on the need for mental health services
- Fighting stigma associated with mental disorders
At Corner Canyon Health Centers, inclusivity and respect for all are key aspects of our care. We make sure that you have every opportunity to advocate for yourself, and our caring staff will listen and work with you to ensure only the best care.
You Can Speak Up
Understanding the importance of advocating for yourself and actually taking action are not the same. Knowing you need help and asking for it, again, are not the same.
While self-advocacy will look different for everyone and is contingent upon each person’s specific needs, communication is at the center. Effective communication will enable you to genuinely relay your needs as the speaker to your listener.
Power in Practice
Self-advocacy will look different for everyone since each person is unique. Discovering your genuine needs and concerns is a great first step in practicing self-advocacy.
Some common examples of self-advocacy are:
- Raising awareness
- Gaining education
- Asking for what you need
- Asking questions
- Demanding attention and respect
- Speaking openly with your doctor about your concerns
- Disclosing genuine concerns with your treatment team
Figuring out what self-advocacy looks like for you will be a journey, and it is not always linear. As with any change you initiate, making a few missteps along the way is common. However, missteps are not mistakes, only learning experiences.
As you develop the skills and practice advocating for yourself, you will realize the impact it is making. Taking such action helps to reduce the barriers to proper treatment, such as mental health stigma and violation of patients’ rights, plus it promotes mental health education and prevents more severe symptoms and untreated cases.
Continue Advocating For Yourself
Taking that first step and speaking up for the first time can be difficult. Asking for help and verbalizing your needs, although seemingly simple, is difficult when you’ve been facing your mental health alone. Once you take that step, you will see the change in the care you receive from professionals, those close to you, and even how you see yourself.
Advocating for yourself isn’t just a method of ensuring you receive the care you need, but it improves your mental health by allowing you to see yourself as worthy of that care. As you recognize the impact of self-advocacy, it will become a regular practice for you.
Encouraging Self-Advocacy at Corner Canyon Health Centers
Here at Corner Canyon Health Centers, you are the focus. We will not railroad your treatment or assume we know what is best for you. Only you have lived your life, and we are here to listen. We want you to feel comfortable to share all you need in order to receive the best treatment possible.
We prioritize comprehensive assessment based on your concerns. We go above and beyond standards by offering a more extensive assessment to ensure your treatment is individualized for you. Our highly trained clinical team is focused on working collaboratively with you to ensure effective treatment and healing.
Our compassion is something we are proud of. We take great pride in the work we do with our patients. We are a safe space for all. For instance, our understanding of how discrimination impacts treatment for the LGBTQIA+ community encourages us to fight that stigma and help the community seek support for their mental health needs. Not only do we provide a welcoming and inclusive environment, but we are uniquely qualified to offer gender-affirming care during mental health treatment.
Our goal is to ensure you feel empowered to advocate for yourself throughout your healing journey, and we are here to stand alongside you as you grow.
It can be difficult enough to face the symptoms of mental illness, but speaking up and sharing that you need help and how can seem even more challenging. Taking the first step towards change can feel intimidating, but knowing that advocating for yourself will help you improve your mental health, provide you with the treatment and care you need, and even help improve overall outcomes is encouraging. Here, at Corner Canyon Health Centers, we want you to feel comfortable and safe sharing any and all aspects of your life and mental health with us. Our care team provides a welcoming and inclusive environment that ensures the individualized care that you need. Call us at (877) 717-6237 to learn more.