Advocacy promotes and protects the human rights and needs of people who experience disadvantage, or are at risk of being disadvantaged.
Advocacy is an important part of what we do at Wellways, because people experiencing mental health challenges, and their families, friends and carers, face multiple forms of disadvantage and human rights deprivations. These include housing instability, unemployment, poverty, isolation and social exclusion, inadequate access to health and support services and untreated chronic physical illnesses.
Full participation in the community is a human right. Wellways has a vision for society’s future, in which people experiencing mental health issues and psychosocial disability, as well as their families, friends and carers, are understood, accepted and provided the same opportunities as everyone else. The pathway towards this vision involves challenging social and systemic barriers, such as stigma, discrimination and social exclusion.
Wellways was established in 1978 by a group of carers who were concerned about the inadequacy of support and service options for family members who had severe mental health challenges. They formed a united voice and collectively advocated to governments for much needed services. The advocacy values that motivated the establishment of Wellways four decades ago remain central to our vision and the work we do today.
Wellways’ Advocacy Framework guides us in undertaking advocacy. It describes past achievements by mental health advocacy movements, the current and most widespread forms of exclusion that people with mental health issues encounter, and the most effective approaches to tackling the major issues.
What issues are you passionate about? What change do you wish to see in Australia’s mental health system? What role do you want to play?
Ways to be involved with advocacy
Become a Wellways member: Wellways advocacy members have the power to influence the future direction of mental health in Australia by being part of a shared voice. Members receive regular newsletters about advocacy activities, information about advocacy events in your community, surveys about advocacy concerns, and resources to assist in leading or participating in advocacy campaigns.
Get involved where you live: Attend a regional advocacy workshop, which aims to generate local leadership, encourage natural networks and involvement in advocacy strategies that are important in your community. Check the advocacy news feed below for details.
Join our Call to Action: If you’re interested in systemic change, become involved in our Call to Action campaigns, where we lobby governments about the big issues and demand changes to legislation, funding and policy.
Call for equality in health care for people with mental illness
People with a mental illness live between 14-23 years less than the general population. The Equally Well statement was launched by the National Mental Health Commission, calling for:
- a holistic, person centred approach to physical and mental health and wellbeing
- effective promotion, prevention and early intervention
- equity of access to all services
- improving quality of health care
- care coordination and regional integration across health, mental health and other services and sectors which enable a contributing life
- monitoring of progress towards improved physical health and wellbeing
National LGBTI Health Alliance Conference: Health in Difference 2018
This is Australia’s premier conference on the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer and other sexuality and gender diverse people. This conference, being held in Sydney, brings together community members, community organisations large and small, health practitioners, researchers, academics, policy makers, advocates, and others who are interested in improving the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of LGBTI people.