Our Goals in Advocacy

Colorado Mental Wellness Network is staffed entirely by people with mental health, substance use, trauma and/or co-occurring conditions. One of our main priorities is helping our peers, or other people in recovery from behavioral health conditions, improve the quality of their lives and give back to their communities. One way we do this is by providing advocacy training so that peers can more effectively advocate for themselves, a loved one, or the peer community as a whole. This advocacy is needed at policy-making tables, legislative hearings, in the media, and in their home communities.

Our overall goal in advocacy is to increase public awareness of what it means to have a behavioral health condition. That can include concepts like:

The problems with stereotypes and assumptions about behavioral health conditions

The disconnect between available mental health services and service-user needs

The challenges of living, working, and going to school with a behavioral health condition

The barriers to treatment that people with behavioral health conditions experience

If this sounds appealing to you, check our calendar to find and register for upcoming advocacy training.:

"One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone."

- Shannon L. Alder

What is Advocacy?

Types of Advocacy:


representing yourself and your own interests

Peer-to-Peer Advocacy

or individual advocacy is representing someone else and their interests

Systems Advocacy

is influencing social, political, and economic systems to bring about change for a group of people

Legal Advocacy

is using attorneys and the legal or administrative systems to establish or protect legal rights

Legislative Advocacy

is voicing support or opposition to legislation using legislative hearings, petitioning, or public demonstration

Learn more about the different types of advocacy by watching the video below and completing our “Using Your Story” handout. You’ll also learn about why sharing your story is one of the most effective ways of conducting advocacy. This is because the average person will remember a story much better than a bunch of statistics. Additionally, stories lend credibility and authority to an issue because they help those who don’t have experience with the behavioral health care system understand and empathize with our experiences. Stories can also evoke the type of emotional conviction that’s necessary to make real change.