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Advocates: Community & Professional Support


What do advocates face?
It is common for advocates to face stereotypes about themselves and about their family members or friends with mental illness. Research shows that people expect those with mental illness to be dangerous, incompetent, and yet responsible for their illness. These images are perpetuated through the media, through laws and through institutions in our society.

Some approaches may help reduce the stigma associated the mental illness. These are: educating people (including yourself) to challenge false stereotypes, speaking up about attitudes (protest), and increasing public contact with the mentally ill. The mentally ill should not have to hide. Public service announcements can help increase education and awareness. Advocates can have an effective role in increasing contact with the public. This has been shown to be the most effective method to reduce stereotypes. Carefully structured programs can have an impact on stigma
(Watson and Corrigan). Some of the resources below are for the Greater Detroit area. The APA and NAMI are national organizations with many resources.

Get information from the American Psychological Association.
Join an online NAMI discussion group.
Communicate with others in your situation via the Internet.
Get information from NAMI on locating professional help.
Go to Consumers and see Mindfulness practices. You can benefit from these exercises. Get involved in art or writing & express yourself.
Go to forum to talk to others.
Contact the for community mental health assistance.
Contact Michigan Community Mental Health Services Programs.
Contact Detroit-Wayne County Community Mental Health.
Try Common Ground in Oakland County. If you are experiencing a crisis or want to help someone who is, call the 24 hr crisis line at 248-456-0909 or 1-800-231-1127.
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