Here is the challenge we set our partners working in the area of mental health advocacy.
To develop and deliver services that aim to establish how effective mental health advocacy may be in different circumstances
The challenge for our partners has been to identify the difference that advocacy can make to mental health service users and to clarify for other health professionals the difference that advocates can make to the people they work with.
The definition of advocacy we have used is:
Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need.
We are interested in supporting organisations that offer one-to-one or representational advocacy in which an advocate (not necessarily paid) supports an individual to obtain the information that s/he needs, explore options and have her/his views heard.
- use trained advocates
- offer one-to-one or representational advocacy
- work with people in the community, within their own homes or in hospitals
Partners have also explored the ways in which the relationship between advocates and health professionals can be developed to improve health outcomes for people with mental health needs.