Helping Trainees TAP into Advocacy!
Click HERE to submit a TAP project!Upcoming Events
Stop by AACAP Nation at AACAP's Annual Meeting in San Francisco to meet other advocates and learn about opportunities to get involved!
What is TAP?
The Trainee Advocate Program (TAP) is designed to facilitate and support AACAP trainee members to get involved in mental health advocacy early on in their careers. TAP will provide training, ideas, and support as you get involved with existing advocacy efforts - like AACAP Advocacy Day or Speak Up For Kids! - or as you start your own advocacy efforts in your local community!
Our goals are to encourage and support mental health advocacy among trainees, to foster a community of children's mental health advocates, and to promote best practices in advocacy throughout the Academy.
Advocacy projects can be in three broad categories, legislative, community, or media. But feel free to be creative and entrepreneurial! Innovative advocacy projects and ideas are encouraged!
Advocating for specific mental health-related legislation, regulations, or policies at your local, state, or national government. For example, you can participate in AACAP Advocacy Day in Washington, DC and help us advocate for improved access to quality mental health care for kids or you can meet with your local legislators or agencies to improve the system of care for kids in your community.
Engaging community organizations (time-limited or long-term) in education and/or service related to children's mental health. For example, you can talk about childhood depression at a community health fair, start a tutoring/mentoring project at an afterschool program, or participate in a Speak Up For Kids! event near you.
Engaging the media in education on children's mental health issues and/or responding to a pressing mental health issue. For example, you can write a letter-to-the-editor for your local paper, or plan or engage in an anti-stigma campaign in your community or institution.
Who can participate?
Any trainee member of AACAP can participate, including medical students, general residents, and CAP fellows.
- Plan your advocacy project! Get help from AACAP if/when you need it!
- Submit your project information HERE!
- Post impressions, relevant materials, brochures, flyers, etc. in the Advocacy section of the Trainee Discussion Forum HERE!
- Share your projects with other AACAP members/trainees. For example, this can be through a presentation at your regional organization meeting, at the Advocacy Booth at AACAP's Annual Meeting, at Advocacy Day, or other gathering of AACAP members!
What happens when I complete my advocacy projects?
When you have completed and submitted information on at least 3 advocacy activities in the broad categories of LEGISLATIVE, COMMUNITY, or MEDIA, and shared these experiences with other AACAP members, you will be recognized as a founding member of AACAP TAP! AACAP will also send a letter of recognition to your training program, acknowledging your participation.
However, your advocacy doesn't stop with the completion of the TAP program! AACAP will work with you to find ways to continue and strengthen your advocacy in your state and community, such as becoming an AACAP Advocacy Liaison.
TAP Project Highlight
Myo Thwin Myint, MD, PGY-4 at the Tulane Triple Board Program, presented a Grand Rounds titled "Advocacy: You Can Do It" to the Tulane Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in June 01, 2012. The presentation included what advocacy is, types of advocacy, the importance of advocacy, and how it can be done. He discussed specific examples of partnering with national organizations such as AACAP and regional organizations such as Louisiana Council of Child Psychiatry. The presentation included current local, regional, and national mental health issues as well as current national and state legislative and budget issues.
The presentation included video of how legislative process works and web resources on how advocacy can be done. The presentation ended with letter writing campaign to Senators Mary Landrieu, David Vitter, and Representative Steve Scalise, urging them to support federal public health funding.
- Partnering with AACAP in Advocacy
- Meeting your Legislator 101
- Community Advocacy for Psychiatry Residents
- (Organize trainees to) Visit or call your representatives to advocate for specific issue or active legislation through AACAP Advocacy Day, local regional organization, or on your own. Apply for the AACAP Advocacy Day Resident Travel Award here!
- Organize local regional organization event with local or Congressional governmental leaders.
- Organize a "teach-in" on a governmental advocacy topic (e.g. Medicare GME funding, child/mental health provisions of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka "healthcare reform") at your institution and/or regional organization. Try this Interactive Exercise!
- (Organize trainees and/or regional organization members to) Participate in Speak Up For Kids! Event.
- Participate in community health fair.
- Develop and coordinate community outreach and education event. Try this Interactive Exercise!
- Host/Participate in a collaborative outreach event with a local child/family advocacy group or local related specialty/subspecialty organization (e.g. local AAP chapter).
- Develop and coordinate fundraiser/awareness event for an organization focused on children's mental health (e.g. Campaign for America's Kids, CHADD, CABF).
- Develop and coordinate longitudinal community program/activity incorporating children's mental health.
- (Organize trainees and/or regional organization members to) Write a letter-to-the-editor to your local newspaper on a child/mental health topic. Try this Interactive Exercise!
- Design an anti-mental health stigma media campaign. Try this Interactive Exercise!
- Write an article focusing on children's mental health issues for a news publication (e.g. local newspaper, AACAP News, Psychiatric News, Clinical Psychiatry News, regional organization Newsletter, etc.)
- Organize a "teach-in" event with community organizations on a recent children's mental health topic in the news, TV show, etc.
- Organize a "teach-in" at your institution and/or regional organization on giving a media response to a mental health crisis. Try this Interactive Exercise!
Graduate Medical Education Funding
AACAP Workforce Fact Sheet
AACAP Fact Sheet on Suicide Prevention
AACAP Fact Sheet on Bullying
AACAP Fact Sheet on Cost Effectiveness of Prevention and Early Intervention
Contact Sourav Sengupta at firstname.lastname@example.org or Liz DiLauro at email@example.com with any questions or concerns about getting involved with AACAP advocacy efforts or starting your own advocacy projects.