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What is Independent Advocacy


Education as advocacy

LEARN offers free workshops about the lived experience of mental health issues.  

Our workshops 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 LEARN as Education As Advocacy. Members of CAPS’ Collective Advocacy groups develop and deliver the workshops.  

We welcome anyone who works, lives or studies in the NHS Lothian area. People with lived experiences, carers, students, workers are all welcome to take part in a workshop.   

We have a new online workshop called:  

A Human Experience: Living with mental health issues. 

This online workshop explores our experiences of living with mental health issues. The group share some thoughts and images in order to open up a discussion on a theme such as ‘Meaning and Purpose’ or ‘Helping and Hindering’.  


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 developing a new online workshop, based on the  Oor Mad History  project, which 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.  

The collective advocacy groups are also developing online versions of the workshops they used to deliver at our office in Argyle House in Edinburgh.  

Exploring Experiences of Psychosis

The  Experiences of Psychosis collective advocacy group  have developed a unique day-long workshop which uses creative expressions to provide 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 half-day session by the  Eating Disorder collective advocacy group  which helps participants understand a little of the experience of people with a range of eating disorders and gives them 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 two-day course based on a big piece of research the  Personality Disorder group  did a few years ago 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.

If you want to know more please contact us at or text 07469 660 999

We’re looking forward to inviting people to attend our courses at Argyle House in central Edinburgh once it is safe.

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