Education and Training
Advocacy Education Course
Watch the Video!
Many thanks to Tom Gugliotti, Communications Specialist at DMHAS, for filming and creating this new video focusing on AU's Advocacy Education Course and our 40th Graduation.
AU's Advocacy Education Course is a comprehensive classroom training course taught 1-day a week for fourteen weeks. Classes are held in Connecticut only. The course provides advocacy skills training for persons with, or in recovery from, mental health or co-occurring disorders who are age 18 or older. Focusing on self, systems, and legislative advocacy, the course also covers many important topics such as the Consumer Movement, the ADA, stigma, public speaking, working with the media, and more. It is one of the most comprehensive education courses in the nation for persons in recovery.
The Advocacy Education Course has been an extremely successful and effective course. AU began teaching the course in 1995, and today more than 485 persons with, or in recovery from, psychiatric disabilities or co-occuring disorders have graduated and gone on to serve as Community Advocates. The Advocacy Education Course is an excellent stepping stone to AU's Recovery University.
Applications for the Advocacy Education Course are accepted from persons in recovery with the desire and the drive to become advocates. Through this training, Advocacy Unlimited selects and educates leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to helping themselves and others. Graduates become part of a grassroots network of trained advocates that help others in their recovery, especially by advocating for their rights and teaching them to advocate for themselves. Skills learned in the course will also be used to assist in advocating for mental health system transformation and to facilitate the participation of persons in recovery in the process.
Graduating students are strongly encouraged to become a part of the various Boards, Catchment Area Councils, and Mental Health Authority Advisory Councils. Students also learn the skills needed to participate and are urged to become involved in the legislation process, ensuring that a strong consumer voice is heard and that state legislators and policy makers become aware of the impact, either positive or negative, that proposed legislation or legislative change might have on persons in recovery from psychiatric disabilities or co-occurring disorders.
Graduates of AU's Advocacy Education Course can obtain 3 college credits at Housatonic Community College. Credit can also be counted towards the MERGE Mental Health Certificate Program should students decide to continue taking courses. Alternatively, it can count towards credit in the HCC Victim Certificate Program. See College Credit for details and how to proceed.
Students from the May 2013 Hispanic Advocacy Course visit the Legislative Office Building for a Legislative Training Session
AU's Advocacy Education Course is an intensive 14 week semester. Classes are held one day each week during the semester. Course offerings are scheduled statewide throughout the year based on the number of application received. Students accepted into the course are expected to attend all 14 classroom sessions. An AU instructor conducts and leads each class, and individual topics are taught by guest speakers, each of whom are expert and experienced in the subject they are presenting. Class size is limited to afford plenty of individual attention. This course is also taught in Spanish (see mindlink.org/espanol).
Through this training, Advocacy Unlimited selects and educates leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to helping themselves and others. In addition to self, systems, and legislative advocacy skills, these future leaders of the mental health movement learn about the History of the Consumer Movement, the Legislative Process, Housing, ADA, Patient's Rights, Advance Directives, Public Speaking, and other skills during the 14 week semester.
There are no fees for this course. Advocacy Unlimited offers it for free. Applications can be submitted online, by mail, or fax.
What to do next…
If you are interested in applying for this course, please review the…
…then complete and submit an Application.
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