CAPS is pleased to tell you that we have started providing collective advocacy for all people with experience of mental health issues living in Edinburgh. We have welcomed two new members of staff to do this. Angharad and Irene will be establishing groups in each of the four localities of the city. Irene will also be continuing our work on the Peer Forum, a group for peer workers and volunteers.
I’m enthusiastic about working collaboratively and creatively to make change.Angharad
I am passionate about the peer approach and the intentional sharing of personal experiences to normalise mental health issues.Irene
Do you have experience of mental health issues and live in Edinburgh? If the answer’s yes and you want to work with others to call for improvements to mental health services get involved now. Collective advocacy is about people with relatable experiences coming together around shared issues. For collective advocacy in Edinburgh all group members have experience of mental health issues. Collective advocacy groups provide a safe space to explore your own experiences together with the experiences of others. People in the groups lead the work the group does and they decide what happens. Groups may work on something creative like zines or a play. They could work together to provide workshops for mental health professionals and others, helping to educate them about the lived experience of mental health issues. Hearing directly from people who have experienced mental health issues can be very powerful.
Benefits of collective advocacy
Some of the benefits of collective advocacy are:
- reducing feelings of isolation when raising a difficult issue;
- providing a stronger collective voice which is more difficult to ignore;
- sharing your experiences and opinions helping you to have your voice heard;
- building skills and understanding your rights.
Ready to get involved? Sign up here.
We already have two specific projects in Edinburgh for people from ethnic minority backgrounds and for people who identify as LGBTQIA+. This new service is broader and is for anyone in Edinburgh with experience of mental health issues. In order to provide Independent Advocacy in Edinburgh, we work in partnership with Independent Advocacy organisations AdvoCard and Royal Edinburgh Hospital Patients Council.