Advocacy: giving a voice to service users and carers

Document type
Briefing
Corporate author(s)
Mind Cymru
Publisher
Mind
Date of publication
1 March 2011
Series
Mind Cymru manifesto briefing; 5
Subject(s)
Mental health services
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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In the context of the 2011 elections for the National Assembly for Wales, this briefing outlines the importance of the provision of advocacy services for service users and carers. For many people who experience mental health problems, the support of an advocate during periods of distress is vital to help them overcome the complexities of the mental health system in order to get the right treatment and support services. However the provision of advocacy services across Wales is still woefully inadequate. In some cases, advocacy is seen as non-essential, yet evidence clearly shows that it is integral to supporting a person’s wellbeing. In this briefing, Mind Cymru calls on all political parties and the next Welsh Assembly Government to: extend advocacy provision beyond that detailed in Part 4 of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010, to support former users of secondary mental health services to access their right to re-referral; commit to the improvement of community mental health advocacy through the development of a resourced Community Mental Health Advocacy Measure, which will offer the potential to improve early intervention, prevention, break down stigma and discrimination and challenge the culture of crisis management; facilitate the provision of a fully trained and resourced workforce that can meet the needs of all people with experience of mental distress living in Wales; and end the postcode lottery to ensure equitable mental health advocacy services throughout Wales.

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