The best project you will ever work on is yourself
Lamp offers a range of services designed to support individuals experiencing difficulties with their mental health, and those individuals or groups supporting them.
What is a Peer Advocate
A Peer Advocate is a volunteer that has a keen interest in supporting those experiencing mental heath issues. Peer Advocates are called Peers because they have themselves have experienced mental health issues and therefore have an intimate understanding of the impact of this and what this feels like. A Peer Advocate is trained by Lamp to be able to provide independent advice and support for those experiencing mental health issues. A Peer Advocate performs an Informal role but can and often do refer their clients to Lamp Formal Advocates (legally appointed independent representatives).
What does a Peer Advocate do?
Understanding the situation and options
Peer Advocates undertake Ward outreach to patients in mental health units. During ward rounds, they help clients to (i) understand what they can expect to happen in the mental health unit (ii) understand their rights for example, how to appeal after being sectioned (iii) access information relating to their health or the section that they are in (iv) gain access to services that could be of use to them (v) be aware of and understand any entitlements they may.
In offering these services, Peer Advocates provide clients the chance to be carefully listened to, to express their feelings and to reflect on their own situation in a positive way.
Peer advocates also offer access to the information that their clients feel they need. This information could relate to advice on how to appeal, details of their section, what kind of section they are on or to other services not provided by Lamp or the hospital outreach team.
Giving A Voice
Where clients are struggling to get their own point of view across or having their own concerns heard, Peer Advocates listen to them, support them in deciding what they would like to do about this and in some cases will represent these concerns to nurses and hospital management. Knowing that one has somebody independent to support and represent them, helps clients to be able to cope with their situation better and to work more closely with medical staff.
If you would like to become a Lamp Peer Advocate, then please refer to the Volunteering section of this website.
Carers Advocacy is:
Anyone caring for someone with mental health needs in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Carers advocacy is also available to those who the above applies.
We can help to seek support for the person you care for through mental health services, or ensure that your views are heard.
We can also signpost you to other services that may support you further.
We also offer group advocacy to carers. Some examples of our practice include:
- Providing information on carers rights to help you make informed decisions
- Helping you to express your needs and wishes at meetings or care reviews.
- Speak on your behalf to health care professionals
For carers, going on outings is one of the outlets they have that enables them to speak freely about whatever may be on their mind at the time. This respite time that is provided also offers a space that is free from prejudice, and guilt. It is a method of support that allows carers to help, and be helped. This includes going out to eat, boat trips and group meetings with other carers.
Peer Support Groups
These peer support groups are held once a month and within them, offers an environment for the carer to talk freely about how they have been for the past month. Again, as all carers are in a similar position of caring for an individual who has a mental health issue, group members can offer help, and/or advice to aid them in their worry. These meetings tend to have no structured agenda, which allows for the carers to have freedom in what is discussed.
Carers advocacy also includes a one to one service that falls under our formal advocacy service. Typically, complex needs that cannot be tended to during the informal group sessions, are addressed during the one to one advocacy. Carers find this useful as it allows them time with our carers advocate to go over in depth an issue they may have.
Ask for help
It’s available. And there is hope