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Leadership, Equity and Diversity Institute Advocate/Protégé Program

In this component of the Leadership, Equity and Diversity (LEAD) Initiative, we use the term “advocate” instead of “mentor” because mentors have mentees, but advocates have protégés. We view a mentor as someone who advises you and an advocate as someone who will support and recommend you. An advocate is an individual invested in a protégé's career success.

With this in mind, the Advocate/Protégée Program of the LEAD Institute aims to refine APA/APAF SAMHSA Fellows' leadership skills by pairing them with APA leaders who share similar interests and will help foster professional growth and career development.

Hallmarks of the program include: networking; technical and professional skill development; exposure to leadership experience; and first-in-line consideration to be advocated for opportunities to become APA leaders. Leaders within APA are a key part of the Fellows’ experience and are critical to the overall success of the SAMHSA Minority Fellowship Program.

We are seeking advocates for the 2022 fellowship year from October 1, 2022– September 30, 2023.

All SAMHSA Fellows receive access to an individual advocate. Advocates serve as the tangible bridge to ensure a seamless transition from residency to early career psychiatry to other aspects of the fellows’ career and leadership development as psychiatrists. By influencing, guiding and providing valuable exposure to psychiatry leadership, advocates also become life coaches who get to know their protégé personally in order to facilitate a trusting relationship that can truly contribute to their success.

Advocates from APA Leadership including BOT, BOD, Assembly members, etc. are invited to join us.

Advocate/Protégé Relationship

The goal of the relationship is for advocates and protégé to build professional and personal relationships through in-person and/or virtual events, and to further engage and advocate for protégés by using the advocate’s influence in the organization for valuable opportunities throughout the year. A successful advocating relationship is one where both the advocate and protégé develop a mutual understanding of expectations, effectively work together, collaborate, and foster professional growth and career development, in that same spirit of partnership. Both the advocate and protégé freely communicate on their own several times in between formal, scheduled events via available platforms and/or in-person.

Formal advocacy events happen at pre-designated times throughout the fellowship year, with 2-4 scheduled events and additional informal opportunities. Some of which are aligned with the complimentary opportunities featured in the LEAD training program. In addition, advocates are asked to attend at least one (1) of the formal events to build their relationship. The scheduled activities help introduce fellows to many psychiatry experts and help emphasize the point that they have access to a wide network of leaders and professionals who have in mind their best interest for their future career development.

Program Overview and Requirements

All advocates and protégés must be committed to the program in a productive way and develop a mutual understanding of expectations from the beginning of their relationship. An initial framework for such partnerships will be provided on the agreement that will be distributed after the matching process is complete.

Sign Up to be an Advocate

If you are interested in becoming an advocate, please follow the registration instructions below and encourage your APA/APAF Leadership colleagues to join you in this effort. Your participation in this program is greatly appreciated. It is because of you that we are able to offer such a unique opportunity to our SAMHSA fellows.

Register as an Advocate

For additional information, please email Tanya Thabjan at [email protected].

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