The Importance of Advocacy

I think that advocacy for those with mental health conditions can be incredibly beneficial and yet it is something that is rarely offered. I had an advocate when I was an inpatient and I’ve seen posters in the outpatient waiting room which require a daunting telephone call to get in touch. Imagine if there was an advocate in a room in the GP surgery for example. Patients would be able to drop in and have support if they wanted so that they could get the most out of their appointment and get the treatment they need in order to feel well again.

When I am at my most unwell that is when I need to most help and yet rarely have I been able to access that as the current system seems to require a lot of fighting in order to get treatment. I remember going to my GP surgery every day because I wasn’t being heard. People with acute mental health problems cannot be expected to fight to get help. These same people are often struggling financially too as they become to poorly to work and are instead faced with ATOS assessments.

An advocate could help that person access the help they are entitled to from the NHS as well as helping them to get the benefits they are also entitled to and this would mean that patients are not suffering alone and feeling isolated and it would potentially lead to a quicker recovery too.

If you would like an advocate then you may find the following links helpful:

http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/advocacy-in-mental-health/#.VXBU7M9Viko

http://www.seap.org.uk/services/community-mental-health/

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