Who can be a mental health advocate?

Darshana Chhaparia

Darshana Chhaparia

Author

Mental health is something that we have taken for granted over the years and now it’s high time to not look at it as a stigma in society. Throughout the years, people suffering from mental health have been traumatized, ignored, backlashed, and bullied by society just because of lack of awareness about it and for removing this gloomy outlook towards mental health, we need some mental health advocates in the society who are willing to fight against these issues and raise their voice against this ever-prevailing stigma.  

The crucial thing to become a mental health advocate is having the attitude of helping others, anyone who is willing to take a stand for others and is ready to help them to cure depression, anxiety, stress, and many more can be a mental health advocate. One of the most important things for being an advocate is that the person should be easily approachable and friendly. The person suffering from mental health issues will always feel easy to talk to someone who is also ready to put out their part of the story. Basically, mental health advocates are the messengers of hope and support.

Here are some of the qualities required for mental health advocacy:

  • Good Communication Skills

Communication plays a key role in mental health issues. Through better communication, you can help them to make their condition more comprehensible to you. The choice of words matters more than anything when the condition of the other person is vulnerable. It has been considered the most powerful tool in treating them.

  • Assertiveness

Assertive means someone who can raise their voice for themselves and others calmly and optimistically. Being assertive helps them to understand mental illness in a better way. Moreover, only a confident and strong-willed person will be able to help others to conquer their own battles. 

  • Compassion

Compassion is the ability to acknowledge the suffering of others and take action to help them in their issues. It is the response that you give to them when you listen up to their problems and how much you can perceive their issues. Compassion plays a major role in understanding the other person and helping them coming out of the ditch.

  • Perseverance

Continuous efforts are required most when you are dealing with a person who does not easily open up to you. There will be days you will decide to give up on them but that’s where the importance of perseverance comes. You need to be persistent with them despite their stubbornness.

  • Flexibility

Advocates need to be flexible as they need to bend themselves according to the person they are dealing with. Sometimes, they react differently, like switching from anger to crying or vice-versa but the advocate needs to calm them down according to the situation.

All the above points conclude that a person who wants to be a mental health advocate should genuinely want to help others, stand for them, manages to calm them down, and can convince others.