Examples of the roles that service recipients can play in fulfilling civic responsibilities, including voting rights and responsibilities, policy and program advocacy, and volunteering are in this section. These are all ways for service recipients to interact with community members.
Mental Health and Wellness Through Civic Participation
This 20 page document outlines the steps to getting involved in government. A description of civic and political engagement is provided as well as a list of reasons to get involved. The document outlines how to identify your views, choose a political party, identify reputable news sources, choose a level of engagement and connect with your government directly. There is also a detailed section on voting, it includes voter eligibility requirements, how to register, where to vote, how to choose a candidate and what to do when you get the polls. This document is meant to remind persons with mental illness that their thoughts and opinions have value and that there are many ways to express them and be heard.
Mental Disability and Voting Access
Dr. Mark Salzer, Ph.D., Director of the Temple University Collaborative, was interviewed on November 4, 2008 on public radio (WHYY/Philadelphia) for a discussion on voting access for those with psychiatric disabilities and strategies to assure greater voter participation. Listen to the interview here:
Voting: Exercising the Right to Vote
This document is designed to answer the most frequently asked questions about voters’ rights for individuals with psychiatric disabilities, but includes additional information about how both individuals and groups can challenge discriminatory voting rights laws and practices through concerted advocacy that promotes broader civic engagement by those with psychiatric disabilities.
Civic Engagement: How to Get Involved in Your Community
This resource from the Temple University Collaborative discusses the benefits of getting involved in community activities, and offers many suggestions and strategies to promote active participation in the local social, political, religious, and mental health advocacy activities that can foster both empowerment and a sense of personal purpose.