One of the goals of the mental health consumer movement is to change the system. People with lived experience want a more compassionate system of care, that sees people with mental health challenges as experts in their own lives, relies on recovery principles, and considers the strengths of an individual as a whole person, instead of the limitations associated with their mental health status.
One way that individuals can help to bring about changes in the mental health system of care is to participate on boards, committees and councils that provide a channel for outside input for providers, agencies and other stakeholders. Fortunately, opportunities have grown, and mental health consumers have increasingly become participants in the conversation about the mental health system over recent decades. Nonetheless, it can still be difficult for individuals to speak out and become active participants in groups that help to shape the future of behavioral health care.
In a new Focus newsletter, The CAFE TA Center shares some advice on how individuals with lived experience can successfully participate on boards, committees and councils. The process can be intimidating for those that are new to advocacy, but it’s critical that people with lived experience play a central role in shaping the system of care. If you would like some tips on how to get engaged, please check out our new Focus, People with Lived Experience Serving on Boards, Committees and Councils.