Week 2: Advocacy in Your Workplace

In the first week of Advocacy 101, we’ve talked about advocacy actions you can do in your day-to-day life.

Another big part of our day-to-day life is work. So let’s talk about how you can advocate for mental health in your workplace.

We know 1 in 5 children is living with a significantly impairing mental illness. Think of the impact that has on fellow coworkers who are struggling with their child’s diagnosis. Trying to find their child help. Trying to find time to take care of themselves.

Responding with compassion to your coworkers, being an advocate for childhood mental health so they know they are not alone and providing a listening ear are all simple things you can do to support coworkers. And you can improve the culture of your workplace by increasing resources on childhood mental health.

Goal of the Course

To learn how you can implement mental health advocacy in your workplace. Our 5 days of mental health wellness can help at work—or at home.

Here are some ways you can advocate for childhood mental health in your workplace:

1. Invite speakers to talk about childhood mental health. Use your local NAMI and Mental Health America chapters to find speakers.

FIND YOUR LOCAL NAMI

MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA

2. Distribute educational materials. Distribute conversation starters, advocacy cards, and on-hand resources on where to find help. Providing credible information can help someone who doesn’t know how to get started in finding information.

Email us at info@OnOurSleeves.org.

3. Gather a team together to participate in mental health related walks and runs: Make a team and raise money together for mental health. Peer-to-peer fundraising is an easy way to spread a message raise much needed funds.

FUNDRAISE FOR ON OUR SLEEVES

4. Implement mental health wellness and self care activities in your work day. Take a few of these ideas to help lift your coworkers’ mental health!
  • Mental Health Monday: Reflect on your mental health. Are you thriving? Are you struggling? Could you use someone to talk to? If you feel comfortable, share how you are feeling with a trusted friend or coworker. You could also check in on a coworker today.
  • Compliment Tuesday: Sometimes, it’s a lot easier to think of something nice to say about someone else than it is to say nice things about ourselves. Compliment yourself. Say it out loud or write it down – don’t just think it!
  • Share the Wealth Wednesday: Many times, we think about complimenting someone or offering praise, but how often do we say it? Compliments are a form of reward that helps boost our coworkers. Compliment a coworker. Write on a post-it and stick the compliment to the coworker’s cube!
  • Self-care Thursday: Make time for self-care. Consider what you can do throughout your day to “fill your cup.” What will you do to take care of yourself today? When will you do it? The table below shows ways we can fill our cup in different areas of our lives. When choosing your plan, consider which focus areas would be most helpful for you.
  • Feel the Love Friday: Think about all the things you have to be grateful for. Take 5 minutes to reflect on what you appreciate about yourself, your family, your friends and your coworkers. Research shows that by practicing gratitude, your health, relationships, emotions, and school or work performance can improve.

Self Care Chart

Course Assignment

Now that you have advocated in your everyday life, now advocate in your workplace with us!

Your Assignment

Implement one—or all—of the 5 days of mental health wellness and self-care activities in your work day.

question mark in speech bubble

Reflect and Share

Did you complete the Week 2 Advocacy 101 coursework? We'd love to know what think. Take our survey to share with us what you learned and let us know what you thought of the lesson plans. Want to share more? Email us and let us know what you think.