Services: Individual

How We Can Help

We provide a free, independent and confidential advocacy service for carers supporting someone who is in hospital or who uses services in Edinburgh and who has dementia, an acquired brain injury, learning disability, mental illness, or physical disability.

Advocacy is about standing up to an injustice, or addressing concerns about a particular issue. Often we advocate or ‘speak up’ for each other as family and friends in our everyday lives. Many carers find themselves advocating on behalf of the person they support. All of us find it difficult, at times, to get our voice heard about decisions or actions that affect our own lives or the lives of someone we care about, this is where advocacy is important.

Advocacy is:

Advocacy is about having somebody to help you be heard and help represent your needs and views as effectively as possible. For example you may need:

● Help with finding ongoing support for yourself as a carer.
● Assistance and support at meetings with medical and other 
   mental health staff.
● Help with letters and forms
● Information about what your rights are
● Advocacy support in your role as named person
● Advocacy support if you have been asked to attend a review 
   under the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007

Advocacy is not:

● Someone making decisions for you
● Mediation
● Care and support work
● Counseling
● Getting advice

An advocacy worker will:

Listen: Arrange to meet with you and give you the opportunity to talk through about the things that are concerning you. Try to understand the situation from your viewpoint.
Give information: Access any information you might need to help make your situation clearer and help you make a more informed decision.
Look at your options: Talk through your options and choices and what the outcomes may be.
Support you: to write letters, prepare for and attend meetings and tribunals or make phone calls.

Advocates can represent your views if you feel unable to this yourself. They do not tell you what to do, they are there to support you in your choices and decisions and can lend weight to your views. Advocates will support people in dealing with specific issues and work with them to get the issue resolved. They are not there to judge you or tell you if you are wrong or right, they are there to support you and only you.

How to access our service

If you think that you could benefit from using our advocacy service, please contact us on (0131) 322 8480.

Other useful links:
Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance (SIAA): 
gives more information on different types of advocacy and groups around Scotland.

Individual Advocacy Services in Edinburgh

AdvoCard 
Advocacy for those with a mental disorder

Partners in Advocacy 
Advocacy for older people and people with a learning disability