By BrightView
Published: February 21, 2024
Updated: June 28, 2024

There can be many misconceptions about advocacy and its potential to drive positive change. Understanding the different types of advocacy can help you provide more effective addiction treatment. Mental Health America‘s Catherine Reynolds joined BrightView recently to share her own experience with advocacy and how we must advocate for ourselves, our patients, and our community.

Here are three things you should know about advocacy.

  • System Advocacy: This type focuses on changing laws and policies within an organization, at a national or local level. It aims to create a more supportive and inclusive environment for mental health issues, such as addiction treatment, within a community.
  • Individual Advocacy: Individual advocacy involves speaking on behalf of someone else, either upstream or downstream in the mental health support system. This advocacy helps ensure each patient receives the care and attention they need.
  • Self-Advocacy: Communicating your own needs, setting personal boundaries, and practicing self-care is key to combatting compassion fatigue. This skill can be learned at any age and, as it leads to your own well-being, it’s important to teach patients this skill as well.


These approaches to advocacy collectively contribute to promoting mental health awareness and support, from a broader level to the individual. For more about this topic, check out the full-length recording below.

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