Advocacy (A complete guide)

In this brief article, we will be talking about advocacy, a charity that has advocacy, roles of advocacy, and more information about advocacy.

What is advocacy in society?

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Advocacy in society is where people would represent clients who are in need of their voices to be heard.

This is where most people with mental health problems would benefit since they have a hard time coming to terms in opening up about their mental illness. 

This is because people with mental health problems may think that they will be judged harshly for their troubles such as there is no need to represent someone with a mental illness or mental illness is just something you can get over with.

Advocacy doesn’t judge people for knowing what they need and doing what they want to do which is to let people know that they need to be listened to as much as other people.

Advocacy states that everyone has the right to be heard, no matter their individual circumstances.

Advocates of this kind of group will do these representations in ethical ways that don’t warrant the client’s integrity or other people’s integrity. 

Advocates in advocacy will even give you some contact information of people or groups who could help you reach your voice to the world.

You can learn more about this kind of group in society by buying this book on this website.

What is the role of an advocate?

The role of an advocate is to be your support in whatever your needs are.

They are similar things that most advocates can consider in advocacy.

The following tasks are what the advocate should undertake for your advocacy:

  • listen to your perspectives and issues
  • help you discover your choices and rights without forcing you
  • give important details to help you make factual decisions
  • help you address relevant people or contact them on your behalf for advocacy
  • join you and support you in advocacy meetings or appointments.

For the purpose of advocacy, the advocate will not do the following:

  • offer you their personal opinion or point
  • solve issues and make important decisions for you
  • make judgements and prejudice about you.

The support that an advocate can do for you when you are in advocacy is very comforting and will make you more willing to talk about your cause.

These advocates can do the following:

  • support you to ask all the inquiries you need or want to ask
  • make sure all the points and details you want covered are included in the advocacy meeting
  • explain your choices to you without giving their opinion or perspective
  • help keep you secure during the advocacy meeting where for instance, if you discover the meeting being distressing, your advocate can ask for a break time until you feel able to continue the meeting.

Who can be my advocate?

There are various advocates that can be representatives to your advocacy.

For instance, you can approach the following services:

  • You can avail a professional advocacy service through some organisations and charities that specialize in your cause. They are independent or private of the NHS and public social services.
  • Your friends, carers or family can become an advocate for your advocacy.

If you are the type of person who wants to advocate for environmental growth, you can buy this mug on this website to show your advocacy for nature.

How to find and assign an advocate?

You can find and assign an advocate from your local council for advocacy.

You can search through services that offer this kind of representation.

POhWER is a charity that helps people who have the advocacy to be cared for properly.

If this is your situation, you need to contact POhWER’s support centre on 0300 456 2370 for advice on this kind of service.

SeAp Advocacy is another charity which provides advocacy support.

If you are looking for this kind of support, you can call 0330 440 9000 for advice or text SEAP to 80800 and someone will get back to your needs.

VoiceAbility is another charity that gives advocacy support as well.

If you are interested, you can contact this kind of charity at 01223 555800 for advice or search for the phone number for your local VoiceAbility service.

You can also connect with the charity Age UK to see if they have advocates in your location.

You can call Age UK online or call 0800 055 6112 for their advocacy services.

Different kinds of advocacy available

There are different kinds of advocacy support available for you.

These kinds of support can be formed from charities or private groups. 

Advocacy support services are often free for you to find support immediately.

However, you may not find these kinds of services near you. 

Although there might be advocacy services that you can contact in a centre location:

  • Independent Mental Health Advocacy Support
  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy Support Services
  • NHS Complaints Advocacy Support Services
  • Independent Advocacy for decisions about care and support services

These mentioned kinds of advocacy services are referred to as statutory advocacy services.

These kinds of services will make more sense to you below.

There is also general advocacy services which are far from the statutory advocacy services which will also be discussed below.

You can learn more about the local advocacy services by buying this book on this website.

Independent Mental Health Advocates Support

IMHA advocacy services are there to represent people who have been detained thanks to the Mental Health Act.

You can access these services if you meet the following conditions:

  • You are detained in a mental health hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983 which is sometimes recognized as being sectioned
  • You are under a Community Treatment Order as stated in court
  • You are exposed and being prescribed with neurosurgery or electro-convulsive treatment as a medical procedure to alleviate your symptoms

You cannot have IMHA advocacy services if you meet the following circumstances:

  • You are brought to a location of safety under the Mental Health Act 1983 
  • You are detained in a mental health hospital for a short while under an emergency situation or holding powers under Section 5 of the Mental Health Act 1983
  • If you are in a mental health hospital under the Mental Health Act and would like to talk to an IMHA advocacy service, you need to ask a nurse on the mental health ward.

An IMHA advocacy service can address you if you’re being referred by your doctor.

You don’t have to see them if you aren’t yet comfortable with speaking about your circumstances.

What help will I get from this kind of advocacy service?

You can see the IMHA advocacy service to talk about your circumstances in your detainment in a mental health hospital.

This service will be able to talk to hospital authorities about your issues with your stay in the mental health hospital.

You can learn more about this independent advocacy service by buying this book on this website.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocates Support

IMCA advocacy services can provide you with support if you have been assessed to lack in mental capacity and the following conditions: 

  • you need to make a certain and important decision at a specific period
  • you need to make a decision about chronic medical intervention or living in residential care such as a care centre or nursing home
  • you do not have friends or family members who are able to support and assist you to make important decisions that are in your best interest.

If you find it difficult to make important decisions because of your assessed lack of mental capacity, your doctor can refer you to an IMCA advocacy service.

You will be able to get the support you deserve from this service.

What help will I get from this kind of advocacy service?

IMCA advocacy will give you the following benefits:

  • Support and assist you to make important decisions
  • Take cover for you to other people so that your best interests are recognized
  • try to determine all of the things that you would think about if you were making the important decision for yourself
  • give details to help process what is in your best interest
  • ask inquiries or think carefully about your important decisions that are not present to be made in your best interest.

You can learn more about mental capacity by buying this book here.

What does my best interests mean in IMCA advocacy services?

If you are on IMCA advocacy services, the advocates will determine what your best interests are.

The advocates will be asking you about the following:

  • your early and recent wishes, values, emotions, and beliefs 
  • The perspectives of your carers and family and all of your present situations
  • the good stuff and bad stuff about an important decision.

NHS Complaints Advocacy Support

You can use the NHS complaints advocacy services if you want to address an issue made by the NHS.

Before April 2013, these services were recognized as Independent Complaints Advocacy Services so you might still hear these services being called this.

Who will I speak to in regards to this kind of advocacy service?

These advocacy services are commonly administered by the following services such as SEAP, Voiceability, and POhWER.

These services are independent from the NHS service.

What help will I get from this kind of advocacy service?

You can get assistance in making a complaint about the NHS through this advocacy service.

You can send it directly to your advocate if you want to address the issue immediately.

Independent Advocate

Under the Care Act 2014, national and local authorities must include you in making any important decisions about your social care and support or assistance.

In this case, you will be given independent advocacy to make known your rights for care and support.

Can I see an Independent Advocate for meetings?

You or someone you can trust can ask for an Independent Advocate for your care and support decisions.

You can guarantee that you will be listened to by this advocate.

Your local authority who will be representing you as an Independent Advocate will do the following:

  • Conjure the best method of including you in the needs assessment
  • choose whether you will have circumstantial difficulty in being included with the overall planning of your care and support
  • choose if you need an advocate from another advocacy support

The local authority will also consider your difficulties in the following situations:

  • comprehending relevant details
  • recalling this detail
  • Considering all details
  • Opening up about your perspectives, wishes or emotions.

As mentioned before, you might have some substantial difficulty in making decisions on your own.

In this case, your local authority may or may not assign you with an advocate from a trusted advocacy service.

What help will I get from this kind of advocacy service?

Your advocate will be helping you with fulfilling the following:

  • assessments
  • prepping your care and support protocol
  • Summarizing and checking your care and support protocol

An advocate can also assess if the person authorized in taking care of you is taking good care of you.

This technique is called safeguarding which is vital in advocacy services. 

The advocate must also do the things mentioned below: 

  • They will choose the best method of supporting and representing you. This will always be done in relation to your general wellbeing and interests
  • They will often talk and meet with you in private
  • They should ask for your consent to look at your personal records related to making important decisions
  • They should speak to your family, carer and anyone else who can give details about your needs, beliefs, wishes, and values
  • They are permitted to get copies of your personal records in some situations

If you are engaged with an IMCA advocacy service, your local authority can adjust accordingly by providing information about your circumstance.

In this case, you don’t have to talk over and over again about your recent case.

Can I see and meet an Independent Advocate for another cause?

Your local authority will get you to meet with an Independent Advocate if you have the following conditions:

  • the local authority and your carer or appropriate person are conflicted about something to do with your care or support
  • you have to be admitted in an NHS hospital that lasts for more than 4 weeks
  • you get admitted to a care home that lasts 8 or more than 8 weeks following your assessment or care plotting.

If you meet all of the circumstances, you will be able to get assigned to an Independent Advocate.

If I move home will I get help and assistance from an advocate from an advocacy service?

If you move to a new location, you will be given a different kind of advocate from an advocacy service.

If you only move in a new location which still holds your advocacy service nearby, you are able to keep your assigned advocate.

General advocacy

These general advocacy services are also referred to as the following:

  • Casework
  • community advocacy
  • generic advocacy
  • short-term advocacy

General advocacy services may not be accessible in your present location.

Who will I talk to when it comes to this kind of advocacy service?

In accordance with your chosen advocacy service, you will be able to speak directly to a member of the service of the staff.

What help and assistance will I get from this kind of advocacy service?

General advocates can help you with specific causes relevant to your current issue.

This support is more relevant to NHS or local services that may have done something to ail you. 

For instance, you might not have been taken care of properly or the staff has discriminated you.

Some of these advocacy services can support you with your housing and welfare benefits. 

However, this is unusual and differs from different locations.

Some of these advocacy services will help you write a letter to those concerned and assist you in meetings. 

These advocacy services will only assist with one problem at a specific period.

Here are the other services that are included in general advocacy services.

  • Citizen advocacy – a volunteer will provide you with face-to-face support and assistance to defend for yourself. Your advocate may be able to assist you for a longer period than a general advocacy service and may help you with more concerns.
  • Peer advocacy – the advocate will have been in connection with mental health services themselves and may have had similar concerns to cope with. They can provide details and help you handle the specific issues you are having.
  • Group advocacy – you will meet a group of people who want to cope with similar problems. You will be able to share and spread ideas about the best method to conquer issues.
  • Self-advocacy – this means defending and speaking up for yourself to conquer concerns. You might be able to get assistance and help with this certain concern. Some advocacy services might provide resources or administer groups where you can talk through methods of coping with issues.

The word advocate has also been mentioned in several legal settings.

You might even hear some lawyers being advocates for certain advocacy.

In the UK, we refer to these lawyers as solicitors if they are involved in a client’s advocacy.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have talked about advocacy, a charity that has advocacy, roles of advocacy, and more information about advocacy.

If you have any questions about advocacy, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your queries.

FAQs: Advocacy

What is the role of advocacy?

The role of advocacy is to provide independent assistance to people who feel like they are not being heard by other people.

These people who need advocacy are also in need of people who can help them make an important decision that emphasizes themselves.

What are the 3 types of advocacy?

The 3 types of advocacy are self-advocacy, individual advocacy, and systems advocacy.

Self-advocacy is when someone is eager about talking about his or her beliefs and rights about a certain issue.

Individual advocacy is when people are open about the issues they care about the most.

Systems advocacy is when a group is willing to support an individual’s rights to make important decisions.

What are the 5 principles of advocacy?

The 5 principles of advocacy are equality, diversity, independence, confidentiality, and safeguarding.

Equality is what is needed in an advocate’s duty to help the client make his or her voice heard and know that the client is his or her own person to decide on himself or herself.

What is direct advocacy?

Direct advocacy is a type of service that enables the person to have one-to-one interactions with members of an administration and the letters made by a person will be mailed directly to policymakers.

This is helpful for clients who need their rights addressed immediately by advocates.

How do you show advocacy?

You show advocacy when you acknowledge others of your cause, you are able to advise people with concerns, and you were a supporter of a person.

You will be willing to spend some time to listen to the person to make sure that you advocate his or her needs right.

Citations

Mind. Advocacy in mental health.

Rethink Mental Illness. Advocacy.

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

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