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What is Independent Advocacy

Individual Advocacy

Mental Health

We provide Individual Advocacy for people 

  • living in East Lothian or Midlothian, either in the community or in a hospital
  • aged between 18-65
  • who are experiencing a mental health issue

If you would like to speak to one of our advocacy workers, please get in touch:

phone: 0131 273 5118
or email: 

What is individual advocacy?

In Scotland, everyone experiencing a mental health issue has the right to access independent advocacy.

Sometimes it can feel hard to speak up or explain everything you want to say.

It can be hard to take in lots of complicated information in meetings. You may feel overwhelmed, rushed or not listened to.

Independent advocacy can help. Our advocacy workers can support you to:

  • Prepare for and attend meetings
  • Have your say
  • Get information you need to help you make your own choices and understand your options

People who used this service told us:

“Things always went better when [my advocacy worker] was with me. He would also explain things so that I always understood.”

“CAPS has made a big difference because I was a shy person & not confident to speak up. CAPS has helped me feel more confident.”

“Because I had [my advocacy worker] with me at any appointments I was able to speak more for myself – and [my advocacy worker] would prompt me if I struggled. This made them listen to me a bit more, and not cut me off.”

“I couldn’t have faced some of the meetings without [my advocacy workers]. They’ve been a godsend and I can’t speak highly enough.”

What can we help with?

We can help you to have your voice heard in all sorts of issues relating to your mental health. Examples of common things people come to us for assistance with are:

  • Mental Health Tribunals
  • Benefits Assessments
  • Social Work meetings
  • Speaking to your doctor
  • Getting advice when you need it e.g. Citizen’s Advice or solicitor

We can’t give you advice or legal representation on your situation ourselves or act as counsellors or befrienders. We are there to help you explain your point of view and what you want to happen so we will never tell you what to do or take anyone else’s side except yours.

How does CAPS work?

We are independent of all other services such as health, the council and the voluntary sector.

This means we are there just to be on your side.

Our service is free of charge and provided by trained advocacy workers.

We will not pass on anything you tell us without your permission, unless you or someone else is at risk of harm.

If you would like to speak to one of our advocacy workers, please get in touch:

phone: 0131 273 5118


More information

Please see: Individual Advocacy Leaflet (updated April 2024)

Working with Individual Advocacy Working with Individual Advocacy Leaflet (updated October 2021)

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