Jane Cartmell Biography

Jane CartmellJane Cartmell B.S.W. received her training in Social Work from Washington State University.  After working several years as a social worker, she now devotes her time presenting workshops, speaking, and coaching family members of the mentally ill through Advocacy Works.

Over a decade ago when Jane began advocating for her own brother who copes with paranoid schizophrenia, she found that as a trained social worker, she was having trouble accessing resources.  Jane decided that if she was having difficulty, she could not imagine how other family members were coping.  In 1992 Jane began a volunteer project to educate family advocates after listening to story after story about problems accessing services.        

The one-day workshop accompanied by the manual and handbook, “Successful Advocacy Techniques for Consumers, Families and Other Caregivers” has been presented in many locations sponsored by Regional Support Networks, the Veterans Administration and local affiliates of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill over the last several years.

Advocacy Works also offers a provider training to enable on-line staff to share this skill-building information with the families and clients with whom they work.

Jane is the author of the 128 page manual and abbreviated handbook version of the “Successful Advocacy Techniques” workshop.  She has presented these techniques for many NAMI affiliates and for the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the International Association of Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialists, the Archdiocese of Seattle Diaconate Formation Program, and NAMI state conferences.

Jane’s Story

Life for my older brother since about the age of twenty has been a gradual downhill slide.  A good looking, better than average student, who played sports through school (basketball, football, baseball), he was an alter boy who walked four miles to serve 7:00 daily mass from the fourth through the eighth grade.  An excellent swimmer and diver, he was a hard worker who, as his mom described him, “Went at his chores like he was killing snakes.”

About mid-teenage he began acting out in a way that got him the wrong kind of attention, which led to a record of car mishaps and some alcohol abuse.  We were surprised and disappointed that he never seemed to learn from his mistakes, he only got bitter, developing a chip on his shoulder, and a little suspicious that the police were after him.  (more)

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