Commissioning and providing mental health advocacy for African and Caribbean men
Service example: targeted publicity
Full name: Sheffield African Caribbean Mental Health Association Contact: Manager: Ashton Wynter; Forensic Advocate: Patrick Anyomi. Address: 84 Andover Street, Pitsmoor, Sheffield S3 9EH Tel: 0114 272 6393 Website: www.sacmha.org.uk
Best practice features
SACMHA have developed a website targeted at African-Caribbean communities.
- Designed to reflect African-Caribbean cultural identity.
- Provides access to a broad range of information
to facilitate access to services including:
- information on SACHMA’s activities and their advocacy service
- information on the range of advocacy services in Sheffield, including advocacy services for other BME communities
- information on other issues relevant to African Caribbean communities e.g. sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia
- information on other mental health services in Sheffield
- The information on the advocacy services makes it clear that the service is independent and confidential.
Service example: training
The Advocacy Project, Liverpool
Full name: Granby Community Mental Health Group Advocacy Project Contact: Manager: Judith Cummings; Advocate Development Manager: Simon Torkington. Address: The Advocacy Project, Mary Seacole House, 91 Upper Parliament Street, Liverpool L8 7LB Tel: 0151 709 9442 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.advocacyproject.co.uk
Advocacy training course
This course has been running on an annual basis since 1995. Funding has come from numerous sources, including the National Lottery, Liverpool Primary care trust, Liverpool City Council, and currently (for three years from 2006) Comic Relief. The course started as peer training for service users with a view to popularising advocacy and building capacity for self-advocacy and empowerment. It now brings together service users and professionals and facilitates the exchange of information and viewpoints from diverse perspectives. This is especially good for fostering unique insights between service users and staff. The course’s popularity has been so great it now runs twice a year. Each programme runs across 14 weeks, comprising half-day sessions for up to 50 people, with an attempt to balance participation between service users and professional staff. Each session deals with specific topics relevant to advocacy, with cultural diversity issues brought into all sessions. Regardless of specific content, the course’s value lies in mixing up the discussions between service users and staff.
Best practice features
- 'Eureka' moments where staff appreciate the service user perspective and experiences in particular contexts.
- Empowering service users.
- Promoting an appreciation of the value of advocacy.
- Promoting the visibility of advocacy and enhancing access and uptake.
- Advocacy project and advocacy course nested in a BME mental health community centre – Mary Seacole House. Opportunity for service users to move from one to the other and also link into range of community activities.
- ‘Practice placement’ opportunities in The Advocacy Project and Mary Seacole House afford course members an insight into the value of community-located BME services, and to see on a practical level how advocacy operates.
- Training course links into a peer advocacy network – graduates stay in touch.
- Advocacy project website and information resource, including information on rights and the Mental Health Act.
- Advocacy project spans inpatient and community services allowing advocacy partners a continuity of contact if needed.
- Informal liaison with mental health advocacy provider (Rethink) works well.
- Advocacy project operates outreach model of proactive recruitment to advocacy – visiting wards at least once a week.
- Advocacy project instigated a community football initiative, supported by Liverpool FC community development wing and working to promote community inclusion beyond mental health and BME boundaries.