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What is Independent Advocacy

People influencing mental health services in Edinburgh

We are delighted to announce that from 1st July 2023 CAPS will be working in partnership with Independent Advocacy organisations, AdvoCard and the Royal Edinburgh Patients Council, to provide Independent Advocacy in Edinburgh.

CAPS’ role is to provide collective advocacy opportunities to people who have experience of mental health issues living in the community in Edinburgh. CAPS already provides some Lothian wide, mental health, collective advocacy projects which are accessed by people living in Edinburgh. Through this partnership CAPS aims to make collective advocacy more accessible to more people in Edinburgh.

An 'evaluation pizza', coloured pieces of card with quotes from participants.

Collective advocacy in Edinburgh

Collective advocacy happens when a group of people with similar experiences get together to raise issues and try to change things.

If you have experience of mental health issues and live in Edinburgh, collective advocacy can help you get your voice heard. The people who plan services will hear what you say is important about mental health services.

CAPS’ position as an Independent Advocacy organisation means that we can take people’s views directly to the people who plan mental health services. We are involved in the Thrive Community. We contribute people’s views to the planning and development of mental health service provision by Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership.

CAPS will offer a variety of ways for people to have a voice within collective advocacy meetings and groups. We aim to forge strong connections within each of the four locality areas of Edinburgh, where Thrive Welcome teams and GP surgeries are collaborating together to improve the provision of mental health services. We will enable people to have a stronger collective voice so their experience of using services can help influence developments in future. People will also be able to raise other issues of importance relative to their own area. A mix of in person local community meetings and online opportunities will be available.

AdvoCard will continue to provide individual advocacy to people who have experience of mental health issues living in Edinburgh. They also provide individual advocacy to people who need help to have their voice heard due to drug or alcohol use. The Patients Council will continue to provide collective advocacy to people in the Royal Edinburgh Hospital and other residential locations. They will also provide collective advocacy for people who use drugs or alcohol. Together, the three organisations will provide a strong framework of Independent Advocacy in Edinburgh.

Find out more about Edinburgh Collective Advocacy and get involved

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