Action needed on Mental Health Advocacy
Posted Wednesday 23 March 2011
People experiencing mental distress in Wales need better access to advocates who can help support them.
In the lead up to May’s National Assembly for Wales elections, today sees the launch of Mind Cymru’s fifth and final briefing paper, building on October’s manifesto.
Advocacy services can be crucial, helping people to express their views and concerns, access information and services, and defend their rights. Access is particularly poor for minority groups who are often most likely to need support to access services:
- Black people were 40 per cent more likely to be turned away than white people when they asked for help from mental health services (Centre for Social Justice 2011).
- There are only three British Sign Language advocates in Wales, which has a deaf and hard of hearing population of 460,000 (2011).
Today’s briefing calls on political parties and the next Welsh Assembly Government to take actions that include extending the advocacy provision beyond that detailed in Part 4 of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010, improve the advocacy workforce, and introduce a Community Mental Health Advocacy Act.
Lindsay Foyster, Director of Mind Cymru, said:
At times when people experiencing mental distress are feeling particularly vulnerable, they need someone to speak up for them and let decision-makers know their views.
This has huge benefits, not just for the individual, but also for mental health service providers.
A good advocate can be a real life-line.
Read the briefing in full or contact
- Ruth Coombs, Influence and Change Manager, 029 2034 6575
- Rachel Bowen, Policy and Social Inclusion Officer, 029 2034 6588
References and notes
- Mind is the leading mental health charity in Wales and England. We work to create a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress.
- Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.