Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Social Work

First Advisor

Betty Brown-Chappell


Due to stigma and lack of education, mental health agencies are often the first to receive budget cuts. After conducting research on mental health policy and policy advocacy, the researcher identified an opportunity for social work practitioners to improve mental health policy advocacy, based upon their unique perspective to witness the direct impact of policies on this population. This in-depth literature review encompassed the origins of mental health advocacy, an overview of the mental health system in the United States, barriers to effective service, and best practices in the field of social work. From this research, the author developed a series of recommendations for more effective mental health policy advocacy for social work practitioners.