Advocating for Yourself

Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

When your needs are not being met, you may feel like you have lost control of what is going on in your life. You can recover a sense of control and get the help you need by advocating for yourself.

What need is not being met for you? Make a list of your main concerns and ideas. You can use the worksheet on the next page.

Try researching your main concern by reading articles, blogs, or news reports.

What agency/resource could help you meet this need or provide more information? If you are not sure, call 2-1-1 to speak with someone who can help you identify possible helpers.

Before you make contact with the agency/resource, review your list of concerns and ideas. Practice what you will say.

When you make contact, communicate clearly. Use a calm but firm voice.

Take notes. Write down the name of your contact person, their job title, and what was discussed.

If you feel that the person you’re speaking with is not helpful, you can ask to speak to their supervisor or manager.

If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed with the conversation, it is okay to take a break and call back later.

Before ending the call or meeting, schedule a follow-up if needed. Ask when you can expect to hear back from the person, or if you can call back in a few days for more information.

Find other supports. Reach out to support partners like family, friends, or someone else that you trust. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength! Having someone in your corner can help you build the confidence to advocate for yourself. Deciding not to self-advocate or pursue an issue further can also be a personal and empowering choice.

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