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Advocacy & Lobbying: Walking the Line Webinar

April 18 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

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A common dilemma for prevention providers is determining the line between advocacy and lobbying. Advocacy is the process of stakeholders’ making their voices heard on issues that affect their lives and the lives of others at the local, state, and national level. Prevention professionals are directed by their Code of Ethics to advocate for an idea or cause that affects behavioral health and health care. When done effectively, advocacy influences public policy by providing a channel for individuals and organizations to voice an opinion. These efforts can, in turn, sway public opinion, garner press coverage, and ultimately provide policymakers an opportunity to respond to constituents’ needs. Lobbying is a type of advocacy that attempts to influence specific legislation. State and federal funders in general forbid providers to This workshop will assist prevention providers in discerning what actions they can and cannot engage in as advocates. Case examples will assist participants in clarifying the boundaries of their legal and ethical responsibilities.


  • Define advocacy and lobbying
  • Describe what a prevention professional’s ethical obligation is regarding advocacy
  • Distinguish among actions that are advocacy or specifically lobbying
  • List advocacy guidelines for actions that promote wellness and prevent substance misuse and related behavioral health problems

PRESENTER: Sandra Puerini Del Sesto, M.Ed, ACPS is a consultant and master trainer in behavioral health and strategic planning for states and non-profits. For over thirty-five years, Ms. Del Sesto has provided throughout the United States training, community and strategic planning, program development, and capacity building in all areas of prevention practice. She has worked extensively at both the community and state levels directing a statewide prevention agency, developing strategic prevention/behavioral health care plans, creating curriculum and programs for high-risk youth and families as well as instructional guidelines for substance misuse and mental health education. She is a member of the advisory boards of the New England Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC), the National Latino PTTC and the New England School of Addiction Studies. Sandra serves as the RI delegate to and the former Prevention Committee Co-Chair of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC), which certifies professionals working in behavioral health. Sandra is a co-author of SAMHA’s Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Training (SAPST) and its basic and advanced Prevention Ethics courses as well as many other face-to-face and online courses in prevention.

About the webinar: This webinar is hosted by the New England PTTC, a program funded through SAMHSA, in response to an identified need for training for New England prevention professionals. Certificates of participation for 1.5 contact hours will be provided to participants who complete the training.

Register today!

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