I am an advocate of recovery. This implies that I believe that recovery is possible, recovery is achievable and that everyone can recover. However people are not recovering in large numbers and that is a cause for concern. This is also a reason why I took to Phd research.
As part of my advocacy I sometimes talk about myself in different settings, whether it be in the format of a lecture, offer a workshop or symposium. My intention largely is that people understand that mental health issues are not lifelong suffering that people must endure and there is no way out of it. There are options. Yes, these are not easy options, but everyone can be supported.
Even as I try supporting whoever I work with, I also try to understand the picture theoretically, philosophically and on a day-to-day basis.
My chief ideas for advocacy are-
- People who suffer from mental health conditions can recover and live lives they want to.
- Everyone is capable of return to a functional level of living.
- People should be supported to live lives they want to;
- Support should come as an option and not without alternatives- if they do not want medication, some other means ought to be worked with.
- The way anyone’s mental health issues are dealt with, determines whether they will live a regular, ‘ordinary’ life or whether they will become progressively disabled.
- Mental health is not a medical problem. It is a problem of people’s lives and how they are impacted by their environment and whether they can deal with life’s challenges.
- People have innate ability to bounce back. Can we focus on their abilities and not subdue them for what we do not understand about them?