Grass Roots Advocacy Network – Kansas Voices for Mental Health

general training photo ARE YOU READY  TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR YOUR COMMUNITY? READ BELOW FOR  MORE DETAILS ABOUT WHY YOU SHOULD GET INVOLVED AND HOW.

Grassroots Advocacy Network: Kansas Voices for Mental Illness

Speaking with one voice to meet the critical needs of people with mental illness with participation from the  BIG TENT COALITION

You Should Get Involved If: You have an interest in being part of a visionary project designed to impact policy decisions about mental health and other disability issues.

You are an individual living with mental illness or another disability, a family member, a service provider, or an advocate with an interest in mental health policy and disability issues.

You are looking to be engaged as a leader working with state and local policy makers.

You understand the urgency of addressing the needs of Kansans with disabilities and the costs to individuals and communities for neglecting those needs, including the consequences of untreated mental illness.

You are looking to grow your advocacy skills and your influence with policy makers.

You want to help set the agenda for policy changes on behalf of individuals with disabilities.

The Kansas Mental Health Coalition (KMHC) launched the Grassroots Advocacy Network in 2012 to expand the opportunities for mental health advocacy for Kansans.  We are inviting your participation in 2013 to grow and expand this network of mental health and other disability advocates. KMHC is a coalition of over 60 consumer and family advocacy organizations, provider associations, direct mental health service providers, pharmaceutical companies and others who share a common mission dedicated to improving the lives of Kansans with mental illnesses.

We are recruiting and training additional mental health and disability advocates from among consumers, family members, service providers and other interested persons to build a statewide network of Legislative District Advocates to influence public policy through their state and local elected officials.

Involvement with this project is also open to persons interested in supporting issues for the broader disability community.  The engagement of advocates through this project for persons with physical and intellectual disabilities as well as all other disability groups is being managed through the Big Tent Coalition.   

Advocates will establish relationships with their state and local elected officials and will receive key policy updates and action alerts.  They will partner with local organizations to expand the number of individuals who are contacting policymakers.  A position description for Legislative District Advocate outlines the expectations for individuals who will join the project.

Resources are available to defray registration and travel costs for those who cannot otherwise afford to participate.  Lunch will be provided for all events.

There are six upcoming opportunities to join this project in 2013:

  • August 17th: Parsons or McPherson
  • September 7th: Hiawatha
  • September 14th: Dodge City
  • September 28th: Manhattan
  • October 5th: Hays  

These are full day events from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm.  Applicants will be notified about the specific location addresses for each training site.

Please be aware that this advocacy training is practice-based and requires that participants be willing to write and share experiences from their perspective as a consumer, family member, provider or advocate about mental illness and recovery or with living with another disability.

Download the application for participation in Kansas Voices.  Following the receipt of applications, individuals who are accepted will receive additional information via e-mail regarding their participation in the upcoming training and the opportunity to choose their preferred location and date.

Please consider whether this opportunity is for you and anyone else you may know who might consider being a part of the project.

Thank you for helping us to spread the word and to recruit individuals for the expansion of the Grassroots Advocacy Network.

Questions?  Contact Rick Cagan at 785-233-0755 or e-mail rcagan@namikansas.org.

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