Adult Advocacy

The mental health system can be difficult to navigate. Knowing where to turn, who to call, and what happens next is critical information that isn’t always easy to come by. Our Adult Mental Health Advocate in Allegheny County is here to help.

Adult Mental Health Advocate

NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania’s adult mental health advocacy program in Allegheny County helps people understand their rights to make informed decisions about their care. We also help them address concerns they have with their services and care.

What We Do
  • Provide information about your rights
  • Assist with grievances and complaints
  • Help problem-solve issues with your treatment providers
  • Keep treatment providers focused on your needs
  • Provide training and assist in the completion of a Mental Health Advance Directive
  • Advocate for people involved in the Acute Community Support Plan process

Mental Health Advance Directive

A Mental Health Advance Directive (MHAD) is a legally binding document and recovery tool that helps you communicate your mental health wishes to your treatment provider even in the event you become unable to do so

What are the benefits of an MHAD?
  • Gives you power over your mental health decisions.
  • Gives you a choice in hospitals, medications, and who is involved in your treatment.

If you are interested in completing an MHAD for yourself, our advocate will help you select a meeting location that is convenient for you. There is no need to arrange for transportation to our office.

MHAD trainings for service providers can be done onsite at your office or at the location of your choice.

For more information on Mental Health Advance Directives, contact NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania’s Adult Mental Health Advocate, Jenny Vaporetti, at 412-366-3788 or toll free at 1-888-264-7972. You can also email her at

Download PA MHAS Instructions and Forms

Acute Community Support Plan

During the course of your recovery, you may be referred by your treatment team for an Acute Community Support Plan (ACSP). An ACSP is a person-centered, strengths-based discharge plan that you develop with your treatment providers. The ACSP is designed around your preferences and choices. The goal is to gather resources you will need in your recovery journey.

Who participates?
  • You
  • Family or Friends
  • Facilitator/ Recorder
  • ACSP Coordinator
  • Treatment Team
  • Adult Mental Health Advocate

How can an advocate help?

Your advocate’s role is to ensure that you have a voice in your treatment, you understand your rights, and you can make informed decisions. To accomplish this, we:

  • explain the ACSP process.
  • advocate for you to make choices free from coercion.
  • help you voice your goals for the ACSP process, such as housing, outpatient treatment, and employment.
  • check in with you between ACSP meetings and provide support.

Our adult advocate meets with clients involved with the ACSP process at facilities throughout the area.

For more information on Acute Community Support Plans, contact NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania’s adult mental health advocate, Jenny Vaporetti, at 412-366-3788 or toll free at 1-888-264-7972. You can also email her at