Become an Advocate at City Hall

The Importance of Community Activism

MHASF values, organizes, and relies on community involvement. We strongly believe that community members need to be involved in the San Francisco mental health policy-making process. Consumers, family and friends, and the public are all affected by government policy. Acting together, we can be a powerful force in changing and improving the City and County’s approach to mental health issues.

Officials care about what their constituents think. The more people they hear from on a particular matter, the more seriously they will take it. Add your voice to the conversation and take a stand for mental health in San Francisco. You can make a difference!

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Get advocacy experience and training from MHASF
  • Training for Advocacy-Skills-Connections
  • Attend a public meeting:
    • Mental Health Board meetings are publicized here
    • Board of Supervisors meetings are publicized here
    • Bring as many people as possible to show wide public interest.
    • If the meeting is open to public comment or testimony, and you feel comfortable speaking, do so! Be sure to prepare notes. Try to speak about how a proposed action will affect people in the community. Sharing your personal experience with the subject under discussion can be especially memorable and effective.
      • Keep your comments to two minutes.
  • Contact the Mayor or your Supervisor by letter:
    • Letters should be on personal or business letterhead, with a return address on both the letter and envelope.
    • Each letter should be about only one ordinance or budget item.
    • Any type of written communication – even a postcard – is better than nothing.
    • Stress how a particular issue would affect persons citywide or in the Supervisor’s district, namely you. The more personal your statement is, the more effective it may be.
    • Try to keep your letter to one page. Make the points simple and concise.
    • Keep in mind that the reader may not be familiar with the subject matter, so explain the subject in detail.
    • Ask for a reply indicating the Mayor or Supervisor’s position.

Activism Resources

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