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Avocacy services are free and totally confidential - advocates are dedicated to helping the service user make their own decisions and express their views around all areas of their care. Information can be provided of your rights and guidance offered on how to negotiate some of the difficult procedures and systems that can be encountered while living with a mental illness.
Access to Independent SERVICE USER Advocacy may be arranged by contacting
Advocacy in all its forms seeks to ensure that people are able to speak out, express their views and defend their rights. Peer Advocacy is unique as the peer advocate will have experienced mental health difficulties themselves. The advocate can understand and be empathetic as they are in the position to understand the client’s difficulties. It is a process of supporting and enabling clients to express their views and concerns. The peer advocate will access information and services to defend and promote the clients rights and responsibilities and to explore their choices and options. The peer advocate will act in the clients best interests, in accordance with the clients wishes and instructions. They keep the client informed and act impartially. They give honest independent options and carry out instructions (must be relevant to the issue) with diligence and competence and to always maintain client confidentiality. The peer advocate will ensure the client will be active and an informed participant through the advocacy process. The peer advocate must have achieved a sufficient level of recovery and complete an accredited training course.
Peer advocates for carers of someone with mental illness support carers in looking after their loved one by providing information and a listening ear; they represent the carer’s views and wishes with permission from the service user and carer.
Carer advocates offer support that is appropriate to the carer’s needs and/or wishes. They talk to professionals with the service users and carer’s permission to highlight their concerns or issues and, taking instructions from the carer wherever possible, base actions on mutually agreed plans, preferred outcomes and timescales, and work in partnership with carers to achieve this. Carer advocates gather and present accurate information to help carers make informed choices and listen carefully, discussing options without imposing our views or opinions.
For more information contact CAUSE by Clicking HERE
Considering how common mental health problems are, you’d think we’d speak more about mental health, wouldn’t you? It can still be a topic we, as a society, avoid but it doesn’t have to be – talking about mental health is actually a very empowering thing to do as it breaks down stigma and opens up a world of options.
Talking is really important. It helps us order our thinking, get feedback and perspective from others and understand that we are not alone in how we are feeling. If you find it difficult to talk to family and friends then you might want to talk to a counsellor. People find talking to someone outside of their family and friends actually more helpful because they don’t have to hide how they feel to protect other people. Talking to a counsellor is confidential and a counsellor will not tell you what to do. They will help you to work out a solution that is best for you or help you discover resources within you that you never knew you had.
It’s OK not to be OK. Sadly the stigma of mental health problems can be one of the hardest parts of the whole experience. Talking about mental health breaks down the stigma and promotes acceptance and understanding.
Mental health isn’t just about mental illness, it is also about wellbeing. It includes finding time in your life for things that promote emotional and mental wellbeing; things like exercise, going for a walk, taking time out/ ‘me’ time, time spent in nature, listening to music, reading a novel, spending time with family and friends, doing things that you enjoy and that feed your soul. It doesn’t mean feeling happy all the time. It’s about feeling able to cope with life’s ups and downs.
Counselling isn’t just for when you are in crisis and shouldn’t be seen as a last resort. It is there to support you to get the most out of life, so check in with your mental health frequently just like you would with your physical health. If things don’t feel just right it’s OK to ask for help.
To learn more about counselling options
CLICK HERE for Care in Crisis in Lurgan
as an example of services available in the community