for Service Users
People with mental health problems often come across professionals who believe they
"know what is best" and act in the best interests of the patient regardless of the opinion of the individual involved.
When such views are held, the professional is unlikely to listen properly to the wishes of the individual being treated.
In these circumstances, advocates can often be helpful in representing the feelings of the individual. Expressed through an advocate the patient views are likely better to be received.
Advocacy also involves
Providing a listening and sympathetic ear;
Getting individuals access to relevant and appropriate agencies;
Discussions in advance of important meetings;
Accompanying individuals to appointments;
Visiting individuals at home or in hospital
Family Health Isis Advocacy is a process of supporting and enabling people to:
express their views and concerns
access information and services
explore choices and options
defend and promote their rights and responsibilities
For meetings it is usually enough that individuals have a checklist and know that an Isis representative will help if needed. Knowing that this support is available gives most individuals the confidence to speak on their own behalf.
Advocate Service for Mental Health Service Users
Isis Advocacy and Support Team helps with a multitude of issues which include providing a listening ear for clients who may just need someone to talk to without judgment or having personal opinions forced on them. Our advocacy team accompanies clients to important meetings and appointments such as housing, G.P, hospitals and courts. We also support our members with practical issues such as making sure that they have electricity or gas in their homes (key top up meter) and with public amenity payments whether by phone calls or writing letters on there behalf. We have been getting a lot of requests recently for support with benefit claims and have been attending a lot of ATOS health assessments and tribunals in a supportive role.
The Advocacy team seeks to ensure that people, particularly those who are most vulnerable in society, are able to have their voices heard on issues that are important to them. We aim to support and enable people to defend and promote their rights and responsibilities. This means having their views and wishes genuinely considered when decisions are being made about their lives. Our members do not need an advocate all the time but they feel comfortable knowing that an advocate allocated to them and is available if the need arises. And for that reason once we have advocated on a members behalf we never close there files or take them off our records as the need for an advocate will arise at some point in there lives because of there mental health issue.
Visits to hospital such as Ladywell Unit, Bracton are made to make links with people to ensure that there is continuity and contact when they are discharged into the community. It is hoped that through befriending people with mental health problems with benefit from more social contact and emotional support as well as receiving more practical help.