An advocate can support you by helping you understand your rights in the workplace. In some situations, for example, if you feel you are being discriminated against because of your mental health problem, they might be able to speak with your employer on your behalf, or support you during meetings.
See our legal pages on discrimination at work for more information about your rights in the workplace, and our pages on how to be mentally healthy at work for general information.
Benefit claims and appointments
You may need to:
- make a benefit claim
- attend a Work Capability Assessment (WCA)
- appeal a benefit claim that has been turned down.
An advocate can:
- help you understand your welfare rights
- support you to claim benefits you're entitled to
- make phone calls
- attend appointments with you
- help you understand the process of challenging a claim.
Your local Mind and Citizens Advice can also offer you support and information.
I had my support worker attend work meetings and my [Work Capability] Assessment... I found it extremely difficult to talk to anyone about how I felt and having someone other than a family member in your corner is a godsend.
If you have a housing problem, such as rent arrears, you may feel you need help managing it. An advocate could help you understand your rights around housing and help you talk with local authorities.
Shelter and Groundswell offer advocacy services for people experiencing housing problems. Shelter also have a helpline and run face-to-face advice centres in the UK.
You can find more information on dealing with housing problems in our pages on housing and mental health.
My local Mind has been great, often helping me to plan what I need to say in a phone call, then sitting with me while I make the calls.
This information was published in March 2018 – to be revised in 2021. References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information see our page on permissions and licensing.