If I were working with a client in the field of consumer advocacy for people with mental illness, I think the anxiety I have will depend on where in the context of consumer advocacy I will be working. If it is for a consumer/client in a mental health clinic that doesn’t necessarily put much resource into advocacy for consumers, or address advocacy for consumers, anxiety about just exactly how much I could do to help the client in the setting that I am working with. I would worry for the client. Conflict of interest may come into play, affecting the client. If I am working within a clinic or setting that incorporates advocacy for consumers, then I feel that the anxiety would be less. That would be the better scenario. Also if I were working with an independent organization that may or may not be seen as something a provider would care to deal with, my level and type of anxiety would differ.
This anxiety would not necessarily have a trigger other than the fear of the unknown, and the intern phase of the job. With experience and having knowledge about outcomes other similar situations within the mental health care system could ease anxiety. The are not all the same. This is where being prepared for your job will help to deal with anxiety, as well as working with other advocates and using peer input to get as much insight as possible. What if one specific case did not work out in favor of the client? I would hope that my job would entail helping to find other avenues of help to pursue.
Also another way to manage anxiety is to involve oneself in groups where helpers could listen and talk about issues, as well as a daily care routine to reduce stress such as exercise and nutrition. These together could help to reduce stress when working for or with a consumer/client.
Written in April 27, 2015, but never published publicly.