What is self-advocacy?

Lupus Foundation of America

Resource Content

You may have heard or seen the term, “self-advocacy.” But what does it mean to advocate for yourself?

Self-advocacy means:
  • You are able to tell people about your thoughts and feelings.
  • You are able to ask for what you need and want.
  • You know your rights and you speak up for your rights.
  • You are able to make choices and decisions that affect your life and take responsibility for the choices you make.

The goal of self-advocacy is for YOU to decide what you want, then develop and carry out a plan to help you get it. It does not mean you can’t get help if you need or want it, it just means that you are making the choices.

Why is self-advocacy important when you have lupus? 

By advocating for yourself, you:

  1. Enable your doctors to treat you effectively. In order to give you the best care, your doctors need as much information as possible about what you are feeling and noticing in your body.
  2. Empower your family members, friends, employer, and health care providers to give you the support you need. Most people want to help, but they can only do so if you are clear about what you need.
  3. Ensure that your needs are being addressed. No one knows your body, your emotions, and your mental stresses as well as you do. That’s why the best person to advocate for you is YOU!