Grassroots advocacy: Grassroots advocacy is the action of demanding a solution to a common problem by lobbying and influencing decision makers. Grassroots advocacy is when individuals take part, voice their opinions, tell their stories and effect system change.
Individuals participate in grassroots advocacy on many levels, ranging from writing letters to their elected officials to organizing educational workshops for members of their community.
In the end, it is up to you, the individual, to be your own advocate and protect your rights. Have an issue? Contact your legislators.
An Advocacy Summit was held in September 2010 to develop regional advocacy coalitions that will educate, include and mobilize grassroots networks on major issues that impact mental health services. At the Summit, this small group of dedicated advocates learned about the Olmstead law suit settlement, budget advocacy and where mental health services fit in health care reform.
Technical assistance and support is available to regional networks from the sponsoring organizations Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association, the Mental Health Association in Pennsylvania and the Disability Rights Network. Regular conference calls are being held to continue the momentum of local efforts and to expand the grass roots networks.
For more information on grassroots advocacy, contact Pat Madigan, the Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers' Association's Community Outreach Coordinator 717-564-4930 x 113.