Often there are many parts of the mental health treatment process that you can’t control.
“Providers can let patients down, medications may fail or cause uncomfortable side effects [and] there is enormous stigma around mental illness,” said Kelli Hyland, M.D., a psychiatrist in outpatient private practice in Salt Lake City, Utah.
But you can control your role. For instance, you can accept your symptoms, educate yourself about your illness, build your treatment team and speak “up when you feel small and scared,” she said.
Advocating for your mental health provides significant benefits. “Taking an active role in the healing process brings empowerment, confidence and can build quality of life independent of cure or physical wellness,” she said.
Below, Hyland shared several ways you can become your own best advocate.