Coun 5004-Consulatation and Advocacy

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A P Assignment #1 09/01/2013 1. Advocacy as a mental health counselor means to become an agent of support and social change through the lives of my client, but also through the world around me as a professional. Advocacy in mental health counseling profession is to fight for equality, empowerment, and awareness both in clients and through community. Also, self-advocacy should be an important role that I as a mental health counselor should practice in my profession. By promoting self-advocacy it will help clients to effectively communicate, convey, negotiate and defend their own interest and desires. I believe in the mental health counseling field the decision of a mental health provider engaging in advocacy can vary across the providers and situations. Another important consideration when looking at if a mental health professional should become involved in social justice advocacy could be the size of the community they practice in. If I were to work in a rural community vs. urban community I might come across more issues than if were to be situated in an urban community. In rural areas the combination of a higher rate of mental illness; low rates of protective supports such as insurance, literacy, education, and employment; and limited access to resources place rural residents in a position where advocacy by professionals is highly needed (CITE). Also, the fact that rural communities have less mental health professionals is a factor that craves for social justice advocacy for this population. As a future mental health professional I believe advocacy is something I will greatly practice because of my passion to advocate for those who have less power and also to help clients to advocate for themselves in the outside world (CITE). One of the main reasons I chose to further my education in the counseling field is for the very reason of wanting to
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