Advocacy is an ethical and professional obligation as defined by both the AMA and the APA. Physician advocacy means using purposeful action to affect change, identify social determinants of health adversely impacting individuals or communities. As psychiatrists, we must use our expertise to inform those that can enact change or initiate change ourselves by addressing community and systems-level issues through legislation and policy at the local, state and federal level. These efforts are aimed for the overall benefit of human life and wellbeing. Serving children and their families magnifies the importance of the role of the physician advocate. Individuals with mental illness are at a particular disadvantage compared to other groups in regards to their ability to organize and make change at higher levels. This is especially true for children and adolescents who also lack the right to vote for themselves as well. These groups rely on the proxy voice of others to drive this change which is where the advocacy efforts of the child and adolescent psychiatrist begin.
Advocacy Liaison Network
- JAACAP Connect Special Issue on Advocacy, Summer 2020 Volume 2, Issue 3
- JAACAP Connect Special Issue on Advocacy Special Issue on Advocacy Spring 2019, Volume 6, Issue 1
- A Psychiatrist’s Guide to Advocacy Edited by Vance MC, Kennedy KG, Wiechers, IR, Levin SM, American Psychiatric Association Publishing 2021
- AACAP Virtual Advocacy Forum: Using the Current Public Health Crisis as an Opportunity for Advocacy