Advocacy and Recovery
The Compassionate Ear Warmline 913-281-2251
Open 4pm-10pm daily, including holidays.
The Compassionate Ear Warmline is a peer-operated listening service for persons in need of support. The Warmline offers non-crisis supportive listening, coping strategies, information, and a reprieve from loneliness or isolation. This program also provides human service training and esteem-building employment opportunities for persons with mental illness; trained Warmline operators are staff with lived experience who work from their homes and use their knowledge to provide help without having to deal with transportation or other issues involved with getting to a worksite. The line does not handle crisis or suicide calls but has the training and capacity to transfer those calls appropriately.
Wellness and Support Advocates (WASA)
As the number of people in the public system with unmet mental health needs increases, WASAs provide mental health peer support services at agencies outside of the traditional mental health service arena. WASAs help and encourage others in recovery from mental illness, connecting them to valuable community resources and providing tools and wisdom for lasting recovery. The WASA program provides persons with mental illness an opportunity for paid employment where they, in turn, assist individuals accessing community resources, educating clients and/or staff, and relieving overburdened professionals by providing services that are not restricted by funding streams.
Advocacy is the representation of the needs and interests of people with mental illnesses in order to obtain services, assure fair and reasonable accommodations for special needs, and promote opportunities for maximum independence in the community. Advocacy may include interpretation of client needs to providers, consultation and technical assistance in reducing and eliminating barriers, and assertive efforts to assure adaptations and accommodations.
MHAH assists persons with mental illness in obtaining/maintaining mental health or social service treatment and benefits and accessing resources necessary to maintain quality of life (i.e. adequate housing, food, or employment) through legislative, systemic, and individual case advocacy.
MHAH works with local, state and federal policy makers to improve the mental health system, increase funding for mental health services, and ensure enforcement and protection of the rights of persons with mental illness.
Systems Advocacy is a broad term that encompasses all our regional, state, and national level efforts to promote mental health and improve the quality of life of persons with mental illness. This includes work with local coalitions, program and policy development efforts with state departments, direct work with legislators to provide them with facts and information pertaining to mental health and recovery, and other cross-agency and departmental and governmental efforts to realize our agency’s mission and vision.
Individual Case Advocacy
Case advocacy provides support, information, and resources to individuals to assure they have access to the full range of benefits, services, and entitlements within the public mental health and social service system. Trained peer professionals work with individuals to ascertain their advocacy needs and to identify the most effective manner of assuring these needs are met.
Past efforts have included:
Assistance obtaining new services;
Improving the quality of services already received by an individual;
Assistance in identifying housing and other resources;
Education to individuals seeking to understand complex state and federal policies directly impacting their quality of life.
Learn more about Self-Advocacy.