MAT Standards Consultation Workshop. The Scottish Drug Death Task Force along with the Scottish Drug Forum and Public Health Scotland are holding workshops for people with lived/living experience to feedback and contribute to the MAT Standards. If you have any questions contact Scott on 554 5307 – see link below for more details and to book.


Launch of Report: COVID-19, the Restrictions and Changes to Services: the Experiences and Views of People in Edinburgh with Lived Experience of Mental Health Issues

We are really happy to announce the launch of our report into the impact of COVID-19 on people in Edinburgh with lived experience of mental health issues.

You can download a copy of the report here:

(We will be making a large print version of the report and will post it here when it is ready.)

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on people in Scotland. At a time like this, it is more important than ever that the views of people in Edinburgh with lived experience of mental health issues are represented and heard when services and support are being planned.

We wanted to hear from people with lived experience of mental health issues in Edinburgh about how they have been affected by the pandemic, what they need – for their mental and physical health, and wellbeing – and whether or not their needs are being met. We also wanted to hear if there was anything happening that people would like to see continue in the future. And we wanted to hear if they had any ideas for changes that could be made that would improve life for people with mental health issues in Edinburgh just now.

We carried out a survey in May – August 2020 to hear people’s views. People had the opportunity to respond by filling in the questionnaire online, returning it by email or by post, or giving us their views over the phone. We would like to say a big thank you to everybody who contributed.

We carried out this work to ensure that the voices of people in Edinburgh with lived experience of mental health issues are heard when services are being planned. It is part of our wider collective advocacy work which includes Edinburgh Community Voices which is currently meeting online.

Edinburgh Community Voices is an open meeting for anyone who has lived experience to discuss mental health and services in Edinburgh.  The group normally meets on the first Wednesday of the month, but the first meeting of 2021 will be on Wednesday 13th January, 2 – 3.30pm. If you would like to take part in the meeting, or if you’re interested but have any questions, please email Becky – [email protected] 

We know that not everybody is able to take part in online meetings.  If you would still like to be involved and give us your views, you can send us an email (as above), give us a call on 0131 554 5307, or contact us by post – Collective Advocacy, AdvoCard,  Andrew Duncan Clinic, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Morningside Place, Edinburgh EH10 5HF

Volunteers needed

Do you have lived experience of problematic alcohol or drug use?

Interested in volunteering as an independent advocacy worker?

Then we want to hear from you.

As a volunteer Advocacy worker, you will be delivering a vital independent advocacy service to people who are facing challenges in their life, that have requested advocacy support to have their voice heard and rights respected.

If you are interested and want to apply or wish to have an informal chat to find out more please contact

Scott Murphy 07918127366

[email protected]

All Our Rights in Law: AdvoCard Conversation

Have your say about Scotland’s new human rights law

Online Meeting – Wednesday 9th December, 2- 4pm or Send us your views!

(For people in Edinburgh with lived experience of mental health issues and/or problematic substance use.)

A National Taskforce is putting together recommendations to the Scottish Government for a new human rights law. This law would build on existing human rights laws to strengthen how all our rights are protected.

This new law might include the right to the following economic, social and cultural rights:

  • Adequate, accessible and affordable food
  • The highest possible standard of physical and mental health
  • A social security safety net
  • Adequate housing
  • Take part in cultural life
  • A healthy environment

The new law could also include specific rights for disabled people, women, black and minority ethnic people, older people and LGBTI people.

As a country, Scotland has signed up to international laws that set out our human rights. But only some of these rights can be enforced in Scotland’s courts at the moment. Those are the rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights, and protected by the Human Rights Act – like the right to vote, right to private and family life, and rights to freedom from torture or unfair detention, sometimes known as civil and political rights.

The Human Rights Consortium Scotland and the Scottish Human Rights Commission are both members of the National Taskforce.  They would like to hear from people and communities across Scotland about how a new human rights law should work.  They also want to know what people might need to use the new law to claim their rights.

You can find out more here – www.allourrightsinlaw.scot  You can also watch a short video about the new law at the bottom of the About page.  

AdvoCard are putting in a response to make sure that your views are represented.

We are hosting an online meeting so that we can collect your views.  We have limited spaces in the meeting, so if the meeting is full, or if you are not able to make it to the meeting, you can send us your views by email or by post, or you can tell us your views over the phone.  

The questions we will be asking in the meeting are:

  1. What difference do you think it would make to have these rights (the rights at the top) written into Scotland’s laws? Your answer can be about one of the rights, some of them, or all of them. 
  1. Are there any people or communities whose rights seem particularly at risk?
  2. What does government need to do to make sure this new human rights law makes a real difference to people’s lives?
  3. Everyone will be able to use this new law to claim their human rights. What kind of practical information, support or resources do you think people in your community will need to do this? 
  4. What is your final message to the National Taskforce and the Scottish Government? 

If you would like to attend the meeting, please get in touch with Becky by end of day, Monday 7th December.  Email [email protected]

If you would need a BSL interpreter at the meeting, we can have one there, but please let us know as soon as possible so that we can arrange an interpreter in time.

If you would like to send us your views by email, send them to [email protected] If you would like to send them by post, send them to Collective Advocacy, AdvoCard, Andrew Duncan Clinic, Royal Edinburgh Hospital, Morningside Place, Edinburgh EH10 5HF  Please get them to us by end of day Wednesday 9th December.  

If you would like to give us your views over the phone, please give us a call on 0131 554 5307 – we’ll arrange a time to get your views.  

If you are sending us your views, please make sure you keep them brief and to the point, as that will make it easier for us to collate them into our collective response.  If you want to write a longer response you can write a response as an individual – see below. (You can do both if you like.)

Please let us know if you have any questions.

You can also respond as an individual and send your views directly to the Human Rights Consortium Scotland and Scottish Human Rights Commission.  You can find out more here – www.allourrightsinlaw.scot/respond/