Self-Advocacy and Recovery

Self-Advocacy and Recovery 

At its most basic level, self-advocacy means standing up for yourself and finding your voice. Mental health consumers do not always exercise their right to do this and therefore their needs are sometimes left unmet. The decades-long movement towards recovery for all persons with mental illness has created the need for specific information for advocating for this population on a consumer-to-consumer basis. This course is based on the Self-Advocacy guides by the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse and on the pioneering work of many recovery experts who are part of the Self-Advocacy movement. Consumer advocates can bring their own lived experiences with mental health service’s systems to bear on behalf of individual consumers, even advocating politically for change. The contents of this course are presented for use by both trained professionals and paraprofessionals, as well as peer advocates for consumers with serious mental health disorders.


Hours: 2.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

National Academy of Certified Care Managers


Relias,LLC is approved by the National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCM) as a continuing education provider, #18-502RA.

This activity approved for 2.50 CMC contact hours

Course Details

Course Code: REL-HHS-0-SAAR
Hours: 2.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 12/31/2022
Learning Objectives:
Describe the importance of self-advocacy for persons with mental and behavioral disorders.
Explain the connection between self-advocacy and recovery for persons with serious mental health disorders.
Practice how to utilize the resources available that define self-advocacy for persons with mental and behavioral disorders.

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: The Importance of Self-Advocacy A. The Navigator B. Self-Advocacy: A Cornerstone of Recovery C. Why Is Self-Advocacy Essential for Mental Health Consumers? D. What is Consumer Action? E. Consumer Providers as Advocates F. Let’s Review Section 3: Learning to Advocate for Self A. The Philosophy of Empowerment B. Knowledge Is the Key C. The Internet as an Advocacy Research Tool D. National Advocacy Online E. Consumer Advocates and Legal Rights F. You Have Rights at the Federal Level G. Let’s Review H. Summary Section 4: Responding to Obstacles A. Teaching Empowering Responses to Obstacles B. Scenario: Michelle’s Meds C. Passive Response D. Aggressive Response E. Being Assertive: A Constructive Attitude F. The First Step toward Assertiveness G. Let's Practice! H. Telling Your Story I. Review Section 5: Teaching Problem-Solving Strategies A. Problem-Solving Strategies B. 1. Breaking Down the Problem C. 2. Developing a Solution D. 3.Strategic Planning E. 4. Deciding on an Action Plan F. Advanced Directives G. Let’s Review Section 6: Advocating Through Communication A. Communication Strategies to Advance Self-Advocacy B. Preparing for a Face-to-Face Meeting C. Holding a Successful Meeting D. Negotiation Skills E. Self-Advocacy on the Telephone F. Self-Advocacy in Writing G. Let’s Review Section 7: Conclusion A. Summary B. Congratulations! C. Course Contributors D. Resources E. References

Instructor: Marianne Baptista, MA, MFT, CPRP
Ms. Baptista is an MFT and CPRP with 23 years of experience in mental health, 20 years of experience in training and supervision, and 17 years of experience in program management. Ms. Baptista has been instrumental in developing and conducting training specific to psychiatric rehabilitation and recovery-oriented practice. Disclosure: Marianne Baptista, MA, MFT, CPRP has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Instructor: Stacy Smith, LPC-S, CS-I, LCAS, NCC
Stacy A. Smith, LPC-S, LCAS, NCC, is the Adult Mental Health Team Lead at the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services. She has her undergraduate degree in Music Therapy and obtained her graduate degree in Counselor Education from North Carolina State University. She has worked in the field of adult mental health since 1998 in both in-patient and community-based settings. Stacy has worked closely with the North Carolina Transitions to Community Living Initiative (TCLI) on developing plans to ensure that the systems and services available to adults in North Carolina with serious mental illness are recovery based and community focused. She has developed and facilitated trainings on TCLI, Assertive Community Treatment, Individual Placement and Support-Supported Employment, Recovery and Community Inclusion, Fidelity Measures and Quality Improvement, and Harm Reduction. Disclosure: Stacy Smith, LPC-S, CS-I, LCAS, NCC has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: Joseph Murphy, Ph.D.
Dr. Joseph Murphy, Ph.D. is a Clinical and Research Psychologist who has extensive clinical and administrative expertise working in the field of Behavioral healthcare at the county and state levels in California, Maryland, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. He has served as a Federal contractor in Behavioral Health. His work supported research at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, the Military Operational Medicine Psychological Research Program at Ft. Detrick, and the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, Silver Spring, MD. For nine years he was the Director of State Operated Mental Health programs for At-Risk youth in Butner, North Carolina. He developed a number of webinars and a Peer Training course in Older Adult Behavioral Health Literacy for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, and National Libraries of Medicine. He served as Director of a Wellness and Recovery program in Gaithersburg, MD. Disclosure: Joseph Murphy, Ph.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Entry level General Staff; in the following settings: Health and Human Services.
F Tags:
F740, F741, F742, F743, F949
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.