AdvoCard is an independent advocacy service for mental health service users in Edinburgh. We are funded to be independent of other mental health services provided by the statutory and voluntary sectors. This enables us to stand alongside the person we are working with and to support them without any conflict of interest arising.
We provide our advocacy service through trained volunteer and contracted advocacy workers. The advocacy workers follow the instructions of the person they are working with to help them achieve their desired outcome.
We value not only our independence but also the fact that we continually strive to be service user led as an organisation. We have service users as members of our ruling body and encourage service users to train as volunteers.
We operate a flexible referral process. We encourage self referral as well as accepting referrals form others. People who wish to use the service can call in to the office for an appointment or telephone.
We do not look for a formal diagnosis and are happy that people self-diagnose. We work with people who have experience of mental ill health or difficulties such as anxiety and depression through to people who have long – term severe mental illness.
We believe that individuals should have a greater say in decisions that are being made about their care and treatment by others and support people to be able to achieve this.
AdvoCard is funded through service level agreements by City of Edinburgh Council’s Department of Health and Social Care and NHS Lothian.