11. ImROC Advocacy Briefing paper; a stepping stone for recovery

Building capacity to self-advocate should be a focus for peer support and recovery-oriented mental health services. Families and carers also have a key role to play in promoting the role of advocacy and self-advocacy as do mental health professionals and commissioners (health and local authority).
This briefing paper examines the role of advocacy in empowering people to express their views and preferences and also their understanding of the meaning of mental distress. It provides an overview of the different types of advocacy, and the situations in which advocacy might be particularly important. It also addresses some of the misunderstandings surrounding the concept of advocacy. Finally, it outlines the contribution that advocacy can make to supporting and facilitating peoples’ recovery and discusses the role of advocates compared with peer workers. The paper ends with a discussion of the ways in which mental health services and commissioners can better support the development of advocacy. It is aimed at people with lived experience, carers, advocates, mental health professionals, commissioners and all those with a stake in recovery-oriented mental health.

Karen Machin and Karen Newbigging

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