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What is Independent Advocacy

Education as advocacy

CAPS collective advocacy groups have developed several workshops that provide information and learning from lived experience. They are one of many ways people with lived experience of mental health issues can speak up about what matters to them. That’s why we describe our workshops as Education As Advocacy. 

We offer open workshops that take place at Norton Park (our Edinburgh office). We welcome anyone including people with lived experiences, carers, students etc who work, live or study in the Edinburgh and Lothians area.


There’s a humanity that comes through, a common humanity

Good conversations that will lead me to reflect

I found the mix of information/resource sharing and talking about people's lived experience really useful and refreshing


We are always developing new workshops based on what people think is important to share experience of. At the moment we have the following workshops that the groups deliver;

Exploring Experiences of Psychosis

The  Experiences of Psychosis collective advocacy group  have developed a unique workshop which uses creative expressions. It provides an opportunity for shared learning and discussion on what it’s like to experience psychosis. 

Seen But Not Heard: Understanding Eating Disorders 

This is a session by the  Eating Disorder collective advocacy group . The workshop helps participants understand a little of the experience of people with a range of eating disorders. It gives participants the opportunity to think about how they can help people they know and themselves. 

Much More Than A Label:  Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder

This is a workshop based originally on a big piece of research the Personality Disorder group did a few years ago. The research was about what the experiences of people who get this diagnosis are, what they consider helpful from services and others and what can get in the way of them recovering. The group have recently updated the workshop and are excited to get back to delivering it!

Oor Mad History

The group are currently developing new topic-based workshops to compliment the work of the  Oor Mad History  project. Oor Mad History is a community history of the user movement and collective advocacy in the Lothians. We’ll talk about how people with lived experience of mental health issues have been actively involved in changing mental health services, policy and perceptions.  

Trauma Project: Here and Now

This workshop has just been completed and the Experiences of Trauma group are excited to begin delivering it. The workshop complements the trauma informed agendas that have been growing in Scotland since the publishing of NHS Education for Scotland’s National Trauma Training Framework. The group have spent time considering what living with trauma is like in their lives today.

LGBTQIA+ & Minority Ethnic

These new groups have developed resources and short workshops combining experiences of people identifying with these communities. They have also worked together to design and deliver workshops on intersectionality.

You, Me, Us, We

This is a workshop that CAPS group members designed to raise awareness of people’s experiences of statutory measures (e.g. detainment and compulsory treatment orders).They have delivered to Mental Health Officers in Edinburgh and hope to be able to expand this to other workers in future.

If you want to know more please contact us at

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