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Welcome

Welcome to Look Ahead, our service user and carer bulletin. Each month

Look Ahead will provide you with information and updates on key activities

that are happening across our Trust, as well as recovery stories and

information on partner organisations who can off er you advice and support.

This edition of Look Ahead focuses on advocacy, knowing your rights

and being heard.

Please email bsmhft.seeme@nhs.net if there is something you would be

interested in reading about in a future bulletin.

Issue 31 - May 2019

Meeting Minds

Meet Maxine Reynolds,

an advocate from BCA, which

provides advocacy advice at our

medium and low secure sites

(Ardenleigh, Hillis Lodge, Reaside

and Tamarind).

What made you want to be

an advocate?

After 40 years of being a local

authority social worker I wanted

to return to a position in which I

felt I could actually 'help' others.

Being an advocate off ers me the

opportunity to speak up on behalf

of others and to support them to

gain independence, confi dence

and empower them to improve

their lives.

What helps you to relax,

and why?

Walks with my dogs in the

countryside help me to relax and

allows me to appreciate nature.

What makes you laugh?

My family, especially my

grandchildren.

Visit www.bcadvocacy.org.uk

for more information.

POhWER will provide advocacy

services in Birmingham for the next

three years (with the exception of

some specialist advocacy services).

Why is advocacy important?

Advocacy helps people to have their

voices heard. An advocate will listen

to your point of view and ensure

that your perspective is heard. They

will also help you to understand

information about your care and

support you in making decisions

about your care. Advocates help

people to stand up for their rights.

It is a legal requirement that

service users who are detained

under a section of the Mental Health

Act have access to an Independent

Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) -

who are crucial in supporting service

users to understand their rights

under the Mental Health Act.

Many people admitted into our

services will be aff ected by the

Mental Health Act, but may not

understand their rights. An IMHA

can help people understand their

situation and what they might want to

do about it.

Staff have a duty to inform service

users of their right to advocacy and

can refer service users to Building

Community Advocacy (BCA). Service

users can also refer themselves.

How do I know when I might need

an advocate?

• You are concerned about any

element of your care or that of

someone close to you.

• You are a little nervous or afraid

to voice your own opinion or a

little unsure how to raise issues or

questions.

• If you feel decisions are being

made about your care or your life

and your own views are not being

sought.

• An advocate can attend important

meetings with you to help

prevent feelings of anxiety or

nervousness.

Advocates can help you ask

questions, they can sit with you, they

can speak for you or they can point

you in the right direction to solve other

problems you feel you may have.

For more information visit

www.pohwer.net/birmingham or

call 0300 456 2370.

POhWER - your new advocacy

organisation in Birmingham

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