Difficult situations or unpleasant experiences can leave you thinking there must be another way and everyone needs to know about this. This is the start of advocacy, a process of influencing change within a society.

The strongest advocates of our society have either witnessed or directly felt the impact of an injustice, which has fueled their thirst for change. People who experience such situations provide others with a real perspective of the cost of not making change. When a person is tied to a cause it makes it personal and it makes it real. Advocates are strongly linked to their cause, they take opportunity to raise awareness, they participate in the educating others, and defend their stance on an issue. Advocacy is essential in our society, as we need to keep adapting and making change to improve the way we live.

Change is what makes our society strong and through advocacy we can support the change we want to see in our schools, neighborhoods, community, mental health system, economic system, political system, and in the rest of the world. Currently our mental health system is struggling with the lack of adequate funding for necessary services. This depletion of resources is seen every day and as a result less and less people have access to these services.

Family Service Association of Greater Elgin Area is an advocate for mental health services and our mission is a dedication towards quality, accessible, client-centered, and holistic behavioral health services. Through our mission and advocacy, we hope to make the changes needed for children and families to receive these necessary services. Change starts with one advocate sharing their experience and encouraging others to join the movement. With technology, it’s easier than ever to find a movement and join it. Right now is the best time to be an advocate for something you support. Use the power of your voice and your experience to make the change you want to see. To advocate for yourself or advocate for another person is one of the most empowering feelings in the world. So, let your voice be heard!

If you have any questions or comments about this article you can contact the author, Janeth Barba at

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