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Poetry for Personal Power facilitates community engagement, research, meetings, coalitions, and advocacy efforts.  Our program provides mental health awareness information delivered by people living in their own communities. We also train advocates!  Our grassroots members become educated advocates learning how to create a paradigm shift by using their own stories paired with science, and history to compel and create sustainable change within their communities.  We use well-researched curriculum and strengthen the consumer voice through arts innovation.

As an organization, all of our community engagement efforts are focused on creating resilient communities where people can safely recover from trauma, behavioral health issues, and substance abuse. Everyone deserves to live in communities where they are able to learn, grow, and be heard.

Our model allows sponsored artists and advocates to earn income for their outreach efforts. This outreach is done through events and advocacy within health coalitions and other sectors to give community members and healthcare consumers a voice. We promote and deliver education about resilience, health, wellness tools, and resources that aid in trauma reduction and recovery support.resources. Invite stakeholders and interested parties to contribute ideas before RFPs (Requests for Proposals) are released.

Most Notable Advocacy Successes:

Policy change:
• Poetry for Personal Power wrote 3 of the 7 position papers being presented at the Kansas Mental Health Coalition Advocacy Day 2019.

• June 2018 the Missouri Federation of Behavioral Health Advocates, the leading policy change group in Missouri whose mission is “works to ensure consumers have a voice in the development and implementation of behavioral health policy,” voted to add “consumer input” to their monthly agenda. February 2019 – 1st month that the “consumer voice” appeared on their agenda.

• 2016 -2017 P3 teams hosted over 80 Resilience Poetry slams, 40 Social Inclusion Events, and 50 Substance Use Prevention Events. Audiences said our most important behavioral health concepts were resilience info 38%, overcoming adversity 28%, trauma information 12%, recovery 11%, mental health resources 8%, and toxic stress info 4%.


Peer Input
• 2016-2019 P3 supported “consumer input”, 129 Advocates have given peer input into 22 projects, with 1747 hours of total peer input provided.


• P3 helped 48 advocates make 98 conference appearance at 28 conferences.


Community Needs Surveys
• 74 advocates have gathered 1010 Community Needs Surveys in 9 projects.


Wellbeing Impact Assessment
• 5 advocates have helped 31 nonprofits and 58 nonprofit staffers make 60 programmatic change ideas related to increasing resilience or mental wellbeing impact.

Art As Advocacy
• 15 advocates completed Infographics, Walking Gallery Jackets, Graphic Novel for ACA education, Movie Edits, PSA creation, and Workshops / Presentations / Seminars / Classes.

Recruiting Lobbying Advocates
• 25 advocates recruited to statewide Policy teams.


WyCo Engage
• P3 met with over 70 organizations/businesses to discuss community needs, services offered, service disconnects (why they are not able to connect to service users), what needs they see in the community and what they are doing to address them. WyCo Engage street team talked to members of the collecting qualitative research regarding needs and wishes. 142 surveys collected from lay community members (homeless / service users / from low income). Hosted a community engagement event at the KCK Public Library infused with an art contest. Art contest consisted of participants drawing their solutions to trauma and offering ideas for increased resilience. 90 people attended, 10 participated in the visual art contest and explained their solutions to the group.

If you would like to schedule one of our advocates to speak about our Community Engagement Practice or Science, or if you would like us to train your organization, contact us.

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