Advocacy and activism work together to bring about social or political changes.

       Advocacy is a broad term that refers to the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal. It involves working more inside the system to influence decisions within economic, political, and social systems and institutions. It could include many activities such as public speaking, organizing media campaigns, doing research, preparing and circulating petitions, educating the public via social media or other means, meeting with elected officials or attending public meetings.

    Activism is a form of advocacy. All of us are activists if we promote and support social change – maybe by taking part actions like rallies, street marches, sit-ins, demonstrations or strikes in opposition to or support of a cause. Most people associate activism with working outside the system since it mostly includes direct confrontational and radical actions.

   FASMI encourages everyone to participate in the work of changing elements of our broken mental health system in whatever ways you can. Everyone’s contribution is important!

Getting Started as an Advocate ... or Just Getting Better!

Here is a very helpful introductory video entitled ADVOCACY 101:  HOW TO EFFECT CHANGE, which is especially for those new to advocacy. It is presented by Michael Gray, Legislative and Policy Counsel of the Treatment Advocacy Center.


FOR MORE:  The Treatment Advocacy Center’s Youtube channel – – offers many other videos you might find helpful.

More Resources to Prepare for Meeting with your Lawmaker

Basics you need to know when meeting with your lawmaker:

The Basics of an Effective Meeting (from Bolder Advocacy):

Meeting with Your Elected Representatives (ACLU):

Meeting with your Legislators VIRTUALLY (refers to federal govt but many principles apply across the board):

Fact Sheet: Meeting with Legislators:

Indivisible Guide to California Legislature: