Having someone to speak on your behalf is often known as advocacy.
Advocacy means having someone to assist, work and represent you, express your views and wishes, and help to secure your rights and represent your interests.
It safeguards people who are vulnerable by speaking up for them.
It enables people with physical or learning disabilities, older people and those with mental health needs to make informed choices and decisions about their own health and social care.
Advocacy is completely independent from the organisations that provide social care services. Advocates act only according to the wishes of the person they are speaking for.
They do not take their own view of what is best, or try to influence the person to make a different choice.
What can I expect?
Support can be provided in your own home, in hospital, residential or nursing settings or supported living establishments.
An advocate will:
- Be approachable
- Be on your side
- Be respectful
An advocate will not:
- Tell you what to do
- Be judgemental about you or your current situation
- Make any decisions for you
An advocate cannot help with:
- Any issues at your work place
- Family disagreements
- Any financial problems you may have
How to access advocacy
If you need the support of an advocate you can refer yourself to them or you can be referred by anyone who is working with you.
Advocates for people with learning disabilities
Advocates for people with a mental health problem