The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences for mental health care providers, as many are dealing with difficulties related to mandated safety measures such as business closures and social distancing. Amid the chaos, patients must learn how to advocate for themselves and get their voices heard.  The more articulately a patient can express their unique needs and feelings or thoughts relating to the treatment experience, the easier it will be for providers to effectively help.

The recovery journey is one of truth and acceptance. On the path to healing, we are faced with many challenges and difficulties. Leaving behind our old, destructive behaviors requires us to replace our former, destructive coping methods with positive strategies that  satisfy the needs that weren’t being met in healthy ways.

At Heather R. Hayes & Associates Inc., we believe in the power of the person and trust that we can all summon the strength and determination needed to take charge of our own recoveries.  After all, a full, successful recovery comes down to your active involvement and investment in the process. However, this journey does not need to be undertaken alone. We offer comprehensive treatment to help you acquire the skill set needed to manage and recover from your addiction. Because there are many different options for treatment centers, you need to determine and advocate for which option is most appropriate for your own recovery.

If you are struggling right now to find that sense of inner strength and self-advocacy, the good news is that it can be cultivated. We will guide you in finding your strength and developing the ability to be a strong self-advocate. Taking the first step in the direction of proactive self-care makes it easier to take the next one.

That feeling of loss of control when we find ourselves unable to stop the use of drugs or alcohol, even when we want to, can be debilitating and color how we view our sense of empowerment. It’s important to realize that there is an inherent potential in all of us to summon and utilize that strength in order to self advocate.

Many are conditioned to think that one’s doctor or healthcare professional has all the answers and will know exactly what is needed to help you. The problem with this belief is that each of us is different, and we have keener insight than our doctors into our individual experiences and needs . Consequently, identifying your own needs and feelings related to your experiences is vital to finding your voice and advocating for yourself.

Don’t be intimidated. If you are not used to advocating for yourself when it comes to your care, your first few times can feel daunting. We want our relationship with our treatment providers to be  built on trust and reliability, but if it’s apparent to you that your treatment doesn’t fully address your needs, speak up. You know what’s best for you.

To facilitate self-advocacy, you must educate yourself on your addiction and the available types of treatment. Greater knowledge empowers you to regain control over your future by having an informed discussion about what’s best for your treatment plan.

Know your rights. As a patient in recovery, you don’t need to sacrifice your personal autonomy for the purpose of healing. In fact, personal autonomy is going to be a key element in your recovery process. Know what you are entitled to. Know that you have the right to ask questions and raise concerns, to change your mind, to express your feelings, to observe and evaluate your progress, to stand by your beliefs and values, to have a say in your treatment, to be heard, and to determine what’s important to you. Most importantly, know that you have the right to make your own decisions.

We, at Heather R. Hayes & Associates Inc., understand that finding an effective treatment solution is only possible when we understand the problem from your perspective. We are here to guide you through the recovery process and provide all the knowledge and advice you need on how best to move forward. Our team boasts over 40 years of combined experience, and you can rest assured that your care is our top priority. Please don’t hesitate to take the first step and reach out to us.