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Transcript

May 1

Learn the History of the Children’s Mental Health MovementTo be an effective advocate, you need to know the history, build on strengths, and have a goal for the future.

May 2

It’s About Acceptance, Not Awareness Acceptance is active. Awareness is passive. It’s time to move beyond awareness and into acceptance. Learn what acceptance means to families and why NFF has made the commitment to acceptance.

May 3

Mental Health and Substance Use is a Social Justice Issue What is social justice? What does working toward social justice mean for individuals, communities, and systems? Learn about social justice.

May 4

What is Mental Health Parity? The 2008 Federal Parity Law requires insurers to cover illnesses of the brain, such as depression or addiction, no more restrictively than illnesses of the body, such as diabetes or cancer. Unfortunately, many insurers are still not following the law. Learn About Mental Health Parity.

What is Advocacy? "Advocacy" can mean many things, but in general, it refers to action. Advocacy simply involves speaking and acting on behalf of yourself or others. Take the next 31 days to commit to growing as an advocate. Each day, there is an advocacy task with resources to guide you.

May Advocacy calendar

Educate Yourself

Develop Your Voice

Find Your Why

Support Mental Health Month and Children's Mental Health Acceptance Week through ADVOCACY!

Practice Advocacy

  • Read: Going Green

  • Share: Children’s Mental Health Week History

  • Read: The History of the National Federation of Families

  • Review: The Heart of Acceptance Infographic

  • Watch: 2022 Youth Mental Health Acceptance Panel

  • Visit: The Acceptance Campaign to learn about the move to Acceptance

  • Visit: Social Justice Campaign site

  • Learn: about Equality vs. Equity

  • Learn: about the Impact of Social Justice on Mental Health

  • Review: NFF’s Social Justice Infographic

  • Watch: What are Parity Rights?

  • Watch: The System We Need: Parity

  • Review: What is Mental Health Parity infographic

  • Review: Examples of Common Violations

  • Visit: Parity Pinterest Board

May 5

Bringing Mental Health into the ConversationDialogue is where change begins. Mental health needs to be part of everyday conversation because taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. Learn more about how to talk about mental health.

May 6

Commit to Using Acceptance LanguageAcceptance is active. Awareness is passive. It’s time to move beyond awareness and into acceptance. Learn why you need to commit to acceptance language use in your advocacy.

May 7

Personal Impact is a Powerful Part of AdvocacyThink about how mental illness has impacted your life. By sharing your journey and first- hand experience with mental health challenges, you can offer hope to others and help break societal stereotypes about mental health.

May 8

Preparing to Share Your Personal StorySharing your personal story about how mental illness has impacted your life is powerful. Identify the purpose behind your story and what to share. Spend time today preparing it. Write it down, edit it, say it out loud.

May Advocacy calendar

Educate Yourself

Develop Your Voice

Find Your Why

Support Mental Health Month and Children's Mental Health Acceptance Week through ADVOCACY!

Practice Advocacy

What is Advocacy? "Advocacy" can mean many things, but in general, it refers to action. Advocacy simply involves speaking and acting on behalf of yourself or others. Take the next 31 days to commit to growing as an advocate. Each day, there is an advocacy task with resources to guide you.

  • Visit: Talking Mental Health Pinterest board

  • Review: Tips on Starting Conversations

  • Review: Normalizing Conversations on Mental Health

  • Visit: Let’s Talk | SonderMind

  • Commit to using acceptance language.

  • Talk to someone about acceptance today.

  • Review: Acceptance Versus Awareness Infographic

  • Review: Awareness is Not Enough infographic

  • Visit: Acceptance vs. Awareness Pinterest board

  • Visit: Storytelling for Advocacy: The Only Way You Get True Support

  • Watch: Telling Your Story with a Purpose

  • Visit: Using Real Stories to Drive Change and Influence Policy

  • Tips for Using Personal Stories

  • Use: 7 Steps to Telling Your Story Template

  • Use: Telling Your Recovery Story Template

  • Review: How to Tell Your Story for Advocacy

  • Review: How To Share Your Mental Health Story Publicly

  • Review: Tools for Building Power through Personal Stories

May 9

Celebrate Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Day!Spread the word today on all your social media about Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Day. Don’t limit yourself to your friends. Post comments and links about acceptance on community Facebook pages as well. Looking for something great to post?

May 10

Share Your StoryNow that you have mapped at your personal story it’s time to try sharing. Choos someone in your life to share your personal advocacy story with and get feedback. Reflect: How did you feel after sharing your story? Do you need to make revisions based on your experience today on what to share to enhance your comfort level and message impact?

May 11

Develop Your Elevator PitchYou may only have a few minutes to engage with someone about mental health. Having what is called an “elevator pitch” will help you make the most of opportunities to share why children’s mental health is important. Be sure to include acceptance in your pitch. Practice it out loud. Write it down. Practice in a mirror.

May 12

Share that Elevator PitchWear a green ribbon today and share your elevator pitch with anyone who asks about it. How did it feel to share your message? What might you want to revise?

May Advocacy calendar

Educate Yourself

Develop Your Voice

Find Your Why

Support Mental Health Month and Children's Mental Health Acceptance Week through ADVOCACY!

Practice Advocacy

What is Advocacy? "Advocacy" can mean many things, but in general, it refers to action. Advocacy simply involves speaking and acting on behalf of yourself or others. Take the next 31 days to commit to growing as an advocate. Each day, there is an advocacy task with resources to guide you.

  • Visit: NFF’s Social Media for Mental Health Pinterest Page

  • Visit: Crafting-Your-Advocacy-Message

  • Visit: You Gotta Hear this Elevator Pitch Template

  • Watch: Elevator Pitch Tips

May 13

What Does it Mean to Be an Advocate for Mental Health?Just like families, every advocate is different. We have different lived experiences and are at different points in our journey, so each person advocates in their own way. Identify how you feel comfortable advocating.

May 14

What is Advocacy?Advocacy can take many forms and be effective on many levels. Begin to explore advocacy by watching the video below - Families, Make Your Voices Heard: An Introduction to Advocacy - a webinar presented by the National Family Support Technical Assistance Center.

May 15

Identify How You’ll Stay Up to Date on Advocacy IssuesThere is so much happening, it can be hard to keep up. Identify sources you will follow to get your advocacy news.

May 16

Participate in the Mental Health Day of ActionParticipate in Mental Health Action Day devoted to shifting the culture of mental health from awareness to action. The goal is for everyone to dedicate one hour to take action for their mental health. Why one hour? Asking for one hour is simple, measurable, and flexible. Action looks different for everyone. Action Day encourages everyone to take action for themselves, for their loved ones, and/or for their community.

May Advocacy calendar

Educate Yourself

Develop Your Voice

Find Your Why

Support Mental Health Month and Children's Mental Health Acceptance Week through ADVOCACY!

Practice Advocacy

What is Advocacy? "Advocacy" can mean many things, but in general, it refers to action. Advocacy simply involves speaking and acting on behalf of yourself or others. Take the next 31 days to commit to growing as an advocate. Each day, there is an advocacy task with resources to guide you.

  • Watch: Advocacy 101

  • Visit: How to Be a Mental Health Advocate

  • Review: 6 Ways to Become a Mental Health Advocate

  • Visit: How to Become an Advocate in 7 Steps

  • First: Follow NFF's Legislative & Advocacy Facebook Page

Then determine what advocacy organizations speak to you nationally and in your state and follow them.

  • Visit: NFF's Social Media Mental Health Pinterest Board for ideas.

  • Visit: Advocacy Pinterest Board

  • Read and Watch: Where to Find Advocacy Information Nationally and In Your State

  • Post: About Mental Health on Social Media

May 17

Explore the NFF Legislative and Advocacy WebpagesSpend today getting familiar with the National Federation of Families Legislative and Advocacy webpages. They can be a source of guidance for you on your advocacy journey.

May 18

Legislation to KnowThe Federation works to keep you up to date on the latest bills being introduced and policies being implemented that affect mental health. Take time to get familiar with that section and the bills being introduced. This information is updated monthly. Determine what bills are of interest to you.

May 19

Dig Deeper into AdvocacyNow that you know more about what advocacy is and what it means to be an advocate, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Explore one or more advocacy tools. Determine how you can be most effective in sharing your voice.

May 20

Create Your Personal Advocacy ListAdvocacy needs to occur at national, state, and local levels. Advocacy with the right person at the right level is how you can be most effective. You need to know your representatives at every level, how to reach them, and what might help connect you to them.

May Advocacy calendar

Educate Yourself

Develop Your Voice

Find Your Why

Support Mental Health Month and Children's Mental Health Acceptance Week through ADVOCACY!

Practice Advocacy

What is Advocacy? "Advocacy" can mean many things, but in general, it refers to action. Advocacy simply involves speaking and acting on behalf of yourself or others. Take the next 31 days to commit to growing as an advocate. Each day, there is an advocacy task with resources to guide you.

  • Visit: NFF's Legislative & Advocacy Pages

  • Visit: NFF's Educate Page

  • Visit: NFF's Advocate Page

Then determine what advocacy organizations speak to you nationally and in your state and follow them.

  • Visit: NFF's Act Page

  • Visit: NFF's Advocacy Toolkit

  • Create a list of all your representatives and how to reach them.
  • Keep your contacts handy on your computer to easily add information/links to reach them.
  • Later in your advocacy journey, keep track of when and why you contacted them.

Visit: Key Information for Family Advocates. Visit the Proposed Legislation, Policy and Funding Section to learn about what could affect you and/or your family.

  • News to Know
  • Proposed Legislation, Policies, & Funding
  • From the White House
  • From the States

  • National Advocacy
  • State Advocacy

Find your representatives:

  • Search: Who Represents Me? An Elected Officials Lookup

  • Locate: Your Mayor by Name,. City, or Population Size

  • Find: Your Countty Exceutive by Zip Code

May 21

Learn About Your LOCAL LegislatorsLook at your Personal Advocacy List. Who is your mayor, county commissioner, school board representative, etc.?

May 22

Learn About Your STATE RepresentationFind your state representatives and Governor using the link we've provided. Add them to your Personal Advocacy List and learn about your governor, state senator, and state representative. Here's how:

May 23

Learn About Your NATIONAL RepresentationNow it’s time to look at your national representatives—to learn about your senators and congressional representatives. Get your Personal Advocacy List ready so you can add them to it.

May 24

Follow Your Legislators!Social media is a tool legislators use. You can too! Following them allows you to see what they are posting and tells you what is important to them. Use social media to communicate with your legislators. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Comment on their posts and tag them in your posts about issues. Always be polite.

May Advocacy calendar

Educate Yourself

Develop Your Voice

Find Your Why

Support Mental Health Month and Children's Mental Health Acceptance Week through ADVOCACY!

Practice Advocacy

What is Advocacy? "Advocacy" can mean many things, but in general, it refers to action. Advocacy simply involves speaking and acting on behalf of yourself or others. Take the next 31 days to commit to growing as an advocate. Each day, there is an advocacy task with resources to guide you.

  • Visit your senators’ websites.
  • Visit the your congressional representative's website.
  • Make note of committees they serve on.
  • Make notes of anything related to mental health they mention.
  • Look for ways to make a personal connection with them.
  • Sign up for any newsletters they offer.

  • Use your Personal Advocacy List.
  • Identify your legislator's social media channels.
  • Follow all your representatives on social media.

Using the links below, expand your advocacy contact list to include your local representatives.

  • Search: Who Represents Me? An Elected Officials Lookup

  • Locate: Your Mayor by Name,. City, or Population Size

  • Find: Your Countty Exceutive by Zip Code

  • Visit your state representative’s, state senator’s, and governor’s websites.
  • Make notes of anything related to mental health they mention.
  • Look for common ground and ways you can connect with them personally.
  • Sign up for any newsletters they offer.

May 25

Learn How to Communicate with Your LegislatorNow that you've identified your representatives and learned what's important to them, it's time to explore how best to communicate with them. Nearly all congressional staffers say letters from constituents influence undecided lawmakers, whether by mail (90%) or email (88%).

May 26

Get Active with Local and State LegislatorsYou can make a difference in just 15 minutes! Pick a local legislator (county mayor, school board representative, etc.) or state elected official (state senators and representatives). Email them to share your opinions about the major policy issues affecting you and your community.

May 27

Get Active with Your GovernorVisit your governor’s website and social media pages. Find an issue they support that you agree on and reach out. Start the relationship on a positive note. Find out if your mayor and governor signed a proclamation for Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Week. Did your city light up something in green?If so, send an email thanking them for their support and include why it's important to you.

May 28

Get Active with National LegislatorsNearly all congressional staffers say letters will influence an undecided lawmaker, whether sent via mail (90%) or email (88%). Email or write to your congressperson and senator.

May Advocacy calendar

Educate Yourself

Develop Your Voice

Find Your Why

Support Mental Health Month and Children's Mental Health Acceptance Week through ADVOCACY!

Practice Advocacy

What is Advocacy? "Advocacy" can mean many things, but in general, it refers to action. Advocacy simply involves speaking and acting on behalf of yourself or others. Take the next 31 days to commit to growing as an advocate. Each day, there is an advocacy task with resources to guide you.

  • Visit: NFF's Contacting Your Legislator's Pinterest Board

  • Review: The Partnership to End Addiction's Advocacy Toolkit

  • Read: Writing to Your Legislator

  • Ask which children’s mental health bills they are supporting.
  • Mention something positive they've done or that you learned from their website or social media.
  • Make the connection personal.
  • Record your contact with them on your Personal Advocacy List.

May 29

Learn About CommitteesLearn how to watch committees, who serves on them, and why they're important. Get your Personal Advocacy List, find a committee on which your legislator serves, and watch a session. Follow up by emailing your legislator to let them know you watched the meeting. Did you know that most committees have Facebook pages you can follow?

May 30

Share Your Story for AdvocacyHave you, or has someone you know, experienced a parity violation—a problem getting the support and services needed? Consider sharing your story. Adding your story to other’s experiences allows us to collect data. There is power in data and numbers when it comes to legislative advocacy.

May 31

Commit to Being a Mental Health Advocate Year-RoundYou can effect change in your local community by being an advocate for mental health. Policy change is one way you can make a difference. This month you’ve taken the first steps.

May Advocacy calendar

Educate Yourself

Develop Your Voice

Find Your Why

Support Mental Health Month and Children's Mental Health Acceptance Week through ADVOCACY!

Practice Advocacy

What is Advocacy? "Advocacy" can mean many things, but in general, it refers to action. Advocacy simply involves speaking and acting on behalf of yourself or others. Take the next 31 days to commit to growing as an advocate. Each day, there is an advocacy task with resources to guide you.

  • Visit: the Navigating Committees section of NFF's National Legislative and Advocacy page. Explore the Senate and Congressional Committee tabs.

  • Visit: Parity Track to add your lived experience with care denial.

  • Examples of Common Violations

  • Tell Us Your Story

The Inseparable Story Bank

  • Stories play an integral role in advancing mental health policy. We are gathering stories to shape our policy proposals, strengthen our advocacy, and ensure lived experience is at the center of our communications.
  • Inseparable will not use stories from this story bank without first contacting you for your written permission.

  • Visit: Inseperable Story Bank

  • Share: Submit Your Story

  • Be Aware: Knowing your legislators and how to connect with them is the first step to being a mental health advocate.
  • Be Present: Follow your legislators’ social media, read their newsletters, and attend their town halls.
  • Stay Connected: Staying connected and following proposed legislation is the final step.

Advocacy All Year

Support Mental Health Acceptance All Year!Commit to staying on top of mental health issues and advocacy opportunities happening nationally and in your state.

May Advocacy calendar

Educate Yourself

Develop Your Voice

Find Your Why

Support Mental Health Month and Children's Mental Health Acceptance Week through ADVOCACY!

Practice Advocacy

What is Advocacy? "Advocacy" can mean many things, but in general, it refers to action. Advocacy simply involves speaking and acting on behalf of yourself or others. Take the next 31 days to commit to growing as an advocate. Each day, there is an advocacy task with resources to guide you.

  • Follow: National Federation of Families Legislation and Advocacy Facebook page. Repost from the page throughout this year on topics and issues that are important to you.

  • Visit: Key News for Family Advocates frequently.
  • Connect: with those doing advocacy work in your community.
  • Stay connected to your elected officials.
  • It’s important that they hear the positives of what they are doing from you as well.

Should you have any questions or need guidance, please contact Michelle Covington at mcovington@ffcmh.org.

Remember Your Why. Share Your Story.Your Advocacy Makes a Difference!