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Advocacy in Mental Health Counseling


In many cases, mental health conditions may impede productive communication with others. It may be complicated to stand up for personal rights and express concerns. Individual advocacy for people with mental health issues may resolve the abovementioned problems. There is a wide variety of advocacy techniques with distinct implementations, which may be beneficial under diverse circumstances. First, advocacy may provide necessary support in understanding rights and getting appropriate services. Second, advocacy may encourage patients to speak for themselves. Third, advocates do not depend on social service facilities and hence may provide unbiased help (Teale, 2017). Moreover, in most cases, advocacy is provided for free as a volunteer service. There are four types of advocacy, including independent mental health and capacity advocacies, health service complaints advocacy, and care act advocacy. Even though the quality of advocacy services depends significantly on the particular worker, it is an efficient method of helping people with mental disorders regarding different living matters.

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Individual Advocacy


Michael is a twelve-year-old boy with an autism spectrum disorder. Michael has severe autism and lives with his father, Steven, in a flat. Due to Michael’s condition, routines play a significant role in his well-being, and he is not able to adapt to changing environments fast. In 2017 Steven got flu and hence was not able to look after Michael. Steven decided to take his son to the facility, which had provided caring services to Michael before. Steven wanted to leave his son in the facility for a couple of weeks until he got over the flu. Michael was told that he was going to his usual resting place with familiar support workers. However, the social workers had a difficult night with Michael and suggested moving him to a positive behavior unit. It was also stated that Michael would stay there for two weeks. Unexpected relocation and changing environment worsened Michael’s behavior dramatically. Therefore, the facility workers believed that he could not return home due to his deteriorated condition. Steven thought that Michael needed to return home to get better, and the social workers disagreed.

The situation escalated when Michael ran away after several months of being in the facility and was stopped by people outside the unit. Such circumstances complicated the process of returning home, and social workers even considered keeping Michael permanently. Moreover, four deprivation liberty orders were introduced toward Michael. These orders included finding an alternative living place for Michael and the prohibition of returning home.

Advocacy Efforts

Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHA) provide services to help people detained under the Mental Health Act. The advocacy services may collect and analyze data regarding the case in order to support the individual by providing valuable information. Moreover, IMHA may communicate with the facility to better understand the problem. In Michael’s case, it may be necessary to introduce help by not only providing recommendations but also by introducing the right claims in the legal field. The primary resource is upholding justice through legal frameworks. Nonetheless, in some cases, mental health advocacy goes beyond the law regulations (Bennetts et al., 2018). The barriers are represented by the unwillingness of the facility workers to cooperate and the risk of losing in court. Steven made a complaint about insufficient advocacy and requested the needed advocacy services. The advocacy worker reached out to the facility and suggested Steven hire a solicitor. Since then, it took several weeks and court hearings to get Michael home and discharge all deprivation liberty of orders.

20/20 Vision Principles

Expanding and promoting our research base is essential to the efficacy of professional counselors and to the public perception of the profession.

Mental health counseling requires a wide variety of skills and competencies. Therefore sufficient knowledge is needed to provide high-quality services and achieve the primary objective of maintaining client welfare. By expanding the research base, valuable data regarding both medical conditions and legislation frameworks may be obtained. I believe that utilizing as much information as possible is beneficial in terms of case assessment and help provision. Such cases may be highly controversial and complicated. Thus both studying scholarly sources and conducting empirical examination may be beneficial.

Focusing on students and prospective students is necessary to ensure the ongoing health of the counseling profession.

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In my opinion, the following principle correlates significantly with the previous principle. As I view knowledge and skills as an essential part of mental health counseling, I find both of these principles fundamental. It may not be possible to expand the research base without educating young specialists properly. The perception of the profession also depends considerably on the quality of the provided services, which is maintained by ensuring proper training. Utilizing research databases and encouraging experienced workers to educate students may be the key to ensuring the ongoing health of the counseling profession.


Advocacy is an essential aspect of clinical mental health counseling. It may provide sufficient support for people with a wide variety of problems related to mental health issues. It may be highly beneficial in both medical and legal fields and, to some extent, may serve as an additional source of law enforcement. Conclusively, it may be possible to maintain client welfare in the area by implementing proper advocacy techniques.


Bennetts, W., Maylea, C., McKenna, B., & Makregiorgos, H. (2018). The ‘Tricky Dance’ of Advocacy: A study of non-legal Mental Health Advocacy. International Journal of Mental Health and Capacity Law, 2018(24), 12. Web.

Teale, J. (2017). Independent mental health advocacy: the right to be heard – context, values and good practice. Journal of Mental Health, 26(5), 484–484. Web.

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