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Inaugural Advocacy Series Empowers Members, Alumni
MHALA completed its first advocacy series for members and alumni of MHALA’s programs in December. The goal of the series, which met online monthly, is to empower participants and help them develop valuable advocacy skills.
“The purpose is to give members the tools and resources needed to advocate on the issues they care about,” said Christine Petit, PhD, vice president of public policy and advocacy at MHALA.
Petit launched the advocacy series last year as a way to help members get involved in the causes they are passionate about, as well as to help inform and shape MHALA’s own advocacy efforts.
Topics covered during the eight-session series included the power of personal stories in advocacy, public speaking, using social media for social change and self-care for advocates.
“Advocacy for the members who participated isn’t necessarily something new, but it was about creating a shared understanding of how to get involved and make an impact,” Petit said.
Six participants from throughout MHALA’s service areas and programs completed the series, with two creating content and leading sessions.
“So many of us members are on different paths and at different levels of our recovery, so it was helpful to learn the basics of what advocacy is and how we can each participate,” said MHALA member T.A. Johnson, pictured above with his certificate of completion.
After a successful pilot cohort, the member advocacy series will repeat this year with a larger group of participants.