Speaking Up: How Family Members Advocate for Relatives Living with a Mental Illness
Consumers with a mental health condition often feel powerless and overwhelmed in interactions with mental healthcare providers. Consumer self-advocacy and advocacy actions undertaken by their family members on the behalf of their relative contribute to a sense of empowerment for both consumers and their family members. This qualitative study explored family member perspectives of advocacy actions they took on behalf of their relatives and themselves. Data analysis of interviews with 20 family members, including parents, partners/spouses, siblings, and adult children, yielded three themes of family member advocacy actions: advocating for a relative’s mental healthcare, normalizing mental illness, and engaging in social and political actions. Advocacy frameworks offer useful guidelines for speaking up for individuals who live with a mental illness.
Community Mental Health Journal
Schaffer, Marjorie A., "Speaking Up: How Family Members Advocate for Relatives Living with a Mental Illness" (2021). Nursing Faculty Publications. 34.