What is peer advocacy in mental health?
Peer advocates are people who have personal experience of mental health challenges who have achieved a sufficient level of recovery to complete an accredited training course in peer advocacy. Once they are qualified, having completed a period working with an existing peer advocate, they can engage with clients on their own
This puts them in a unique position in understanding the problems faced by people experiencing challenges to their mental health.
Discover our Client Charter setting out responsibilities and expectations between peer advocates and peer advocacy clients
Discover our Client Charter setting out responsibilities and expectations between peer advocates and peer advocacy clientsCLIENT CHARTER
Peer Advocacy in Mental Health is…
Making information accessible.
Providing and discussing options.
Facilitating decision-making by the individual.
Supporting mental health service users to be heard and ensuring that what they say influences the decisions of service providers
Promoting self-advocacy through empowerment.
Ensuring that service users are active and informed participants in their treatment and care.
Peer Advocacy in Mental Health has emerged as an essential tool for people with mental health challenges because…
- Peer Advocacy builds up trust as the peer relationship is founded on equality and with no power imbalance between advocate and client.
- Peer advocacy is based on empathy- Often it can be easier to talk to a peer because of the shared experience and common understanding.
- Peer advocacy is person centred – It is truly client focused and led as a peer advocate can only act on the wishes of the client.
- Peer Advocacy empowers as it helps people build/rebuild their wellbeing, self-esteem and confidence and allows them to take back control of their own life.
- Peer Advocacy challenges the discrimination and stigma attached to “mental illness”.
- A peer advocate is a good role model for someone who is experiencing mental health challenges as a peer advocate can offer hope that things can get better and clients who see a peer well and able may be
- A peer advocate is an example for others that recovery is possible!
Our Peer Advocacy Service is not…
An advice service
A complaints service
A welfare rights/entitlement service
An emergency service