Who We Are
Advocacy Unlimited, Inc., one of the nation's largest statewide agencies of its kind, was started in 1994 by founder Yvette Sangster as the Community Advocacy Education Division (CAED), a branch of Connecticut Legal Rights Project (CLRP).
CAED was established to help all individuals in recovery from mental health or co-occurring disorders through education in self, systems, and legislative advocacy skills. CAED became independently incorporated in the spring of 1998 and was renamed Advocacy Unlimited, Inc. Its founding mission and original vision remained unchanged. AU supports initiatives that integrate consumers of mental health and substance abuse services into community life while respecting their freedom, dignity, and self-fulfillment.
CLRP is a nonprofit agency providing legal services for individuals with or in recovery from mental health or co-occurring disorders, whether they are in hospitals or in the community.
Now led by Executive Director Dr. Karen A. Kangas, Advocacy Unlimited is operated and controlled by persons in recovery from mental health or co-occurring disorders. It is an organization dedicated to promoting self-determination. We achieve this through our in-depth education and training programs that provide extensive training in recovery skills as well as self, systems, and legislative advocacy skills, and by advocating for initiatives that further individual rights and choices. It is one of the most comprehensive series of education courses in the nation for people in recovery. See Education Programs Overview for a complete description of AU's courses.
"The mission of Advocacy Unlimited, Inc. is to improve the quality of life for persons with or in recovery from mental health or co-occurring disorders. We achieve this by providing comprehensive education in recovery and advocacy skills for persons in recovery and helping them find employment, reintegrate into the community, and get their lives back."
We are accomplishing this mission through our comprehensive recovery and advocacy education programs and the grassroots network of advocates who have graduated from this training. Our continuing success is insured by taking an active role in the service delivery system, the legislative process, public education, coalition-building, and by facilitating representation and support for people in recovery from mental health or co-occurring disorders.
Funding is currently provided through grants from the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addictions Services (DMHAS), SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services (SAMHSA / CMHS), and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Funding also comes from agency run fundraisers as well as individual and corporate donations.
We encourage your questions and look forward to providing help and support. To learn how you can reach us, see Contact Us.
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