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Advocacy Unlimited - Recovery and advocacy education for people with mental health and/or addiction issuesAdvocacy Unlimited, Inc. - Comprehensive education in recovery and advocacy skills for people in recovery from mental health and/or addiction issues

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Principles of Advocacy

AU Advocates work together in support of Advocacy Unlimited's Mission and are dedicated to the core belief that individuals in recovery from psychiatric disabilities should have the full rights, opportunities, and expectations for a meaningful and personally satisfying life afforded to all members of society. They stand up for the right that all persons should be treated equally regardless of race, gender, or disability.

Advocates further believe that consumers of mental health services understand their own needs and desires, as well as those of their peers, better than anyone and are capable of acting on their own behalf.

In carrying out their responsibilities, AU Advocates have a moral and ethical obligation to the following principles:

AU Advocates will…

  • Treat all those they serve with respect, and dignity;
  • Protect and enforce the legal rights of those they serve;
  • Act in a lawful manner;
  • Represent individuals according to their express choices;
  • Only proceed in any action on behalf of an individual with his or her permission;
  • Teach skills by working "with" not "for" in advocacy issues;
  • Represent individuals to the best of their ability in a timely and responsible manner;
  • Continually improve their skills and knowledge to best serve those they advocate for;
  • Fully inform an individual of all options available to them to the best of their knowledge;
  • Fully inform those they are advocating for of all possible implications and potential results of advocacy action;
  • Present facts accurately and honestly;
  • Keep those they are advocating for informed of progress in an advocacy effort;
  • Keep information received from or about individuals in the strictest of confidence;
  • Continue their efforts until a resolution is reached;
  • Be informed and knowledgeable of changes in the laws or policies that effect those they are advocating for.

Also, refer to Should You Become an Advocate. To learn how to become an AU Advocate, see Advocacy Education Program.

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