We all know how important it is for your voice to be heard. That’s why I’ve put together a list of five simple things that you can do to make sure this happens.
- Go to all your meetings
This one is plain and simple: the meetings are about YOU and everyone there is going to be talking about you. If you are there, you have a chance to speak and be heard by the people who can make things happen for you. Also, remember that if you feel uncomfortable going to meetings, there are services that provide advocates. Advocates are people who go to meetings on your behalf and say the things that you want to say. You can find out more about advocates here.
- Speak to your carers
Your carers are the closest people to you. You should speak to them because they can carry your voice forward to the right people. This, coupled with point three below, will make sure you have covered all the basics of having your voice heard.
- Keep following up
This may feel like you are nagging at your social worker, but this is your life! This is not just unwashed dishes – it is your future! Never feel like you are nagging. Following up on emails, texts and calls until you get somewhere is totally the way forward. The person on the other side, be it you social worker, key worker or PA, will understand. If they don’t, see the next point below.
- Reach out higher
If you are having communication or other issues, don’t be afraid to reach out to the manager for the person you have been trying to communicate with. You gotta do what you gotta do!
This is by far the most important and effective thing you can do! All of the other points can only work if you use your voice to say what you needs to be said. People are not mind-readers, so you need to communicate in whatever way works for you. If you don’t, you can’t expect anyone to know what you want.
So there you have it! Five things you can do to make sure your voice is heard.