Why Be an Advocate?

What Do We Mean by “Advocacy”?

According to Webster, it means:

  1. "To support or urge by argument, especially publicly; and 

  2. A person who speaks or writes in support of a cause."

More specifically, in our case:

  • On behalf of the discipline of psychology 

  • On behalf of the profession and clients 

  • On behalf of underserved populations

Consequences of Non-Involvement

Funding Implications:
No funding or flat-funding
Reduction or modest increase

Programming Implications:
Psychology excluded entirely
Psychology included…but w/obstacles
Amendments favorable to psychology not adopted

Policy Implications:
Lack of understanding of psychology
Not considered essential health profession
Not considered essential science

Why is Advocacy Valuable to You?

…As faculty members and students

  •  Gain funding for existing and new programs 

  • Gain funding for student loans and scholarships 

  • Gain funding for existing/new internship opportunities

Three Types of Advocacy

Two-way Communications - Relationship Based Hill visits, Site Visits, Receptions

One-way Communications - Message Based Phone Calls; Letters; Faxes, E-mails

Indirect communications - Media Based Editorials, Press Releases, Demonstrations

Kush, C. (2001). The One Hour Activist: The Twenty Most Powerful Actions You Can Take to Fight for the Issues (and Candidates) You Care About.

How is Advocacy Important to You?

            …As an individual?

                      …As a psychologist?

  • Raises awareness of the contributions psychology makes to meeting local/state/national needs 

  • Advances psychology as a primary care health profession

  • Enhances status of psychology and behavioral science