Independent Mental Health Advocacy

Daisy Bogg Consultancy Ltd.
Mental health today (Brighton, England) 01/2009;
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Background  Advocacy has a critical role to play in addressing concerns about access to appropriate mental health care and treatment for African and Caribbean men. Aim  To investigate good practice principles and organizational models for mental health advocacy provision for African and Caribbean men. Study design  The study consisted of: (i) A systematic literature review. Bibliographic and internet searching was undertaken from 1994 to 2006. The inclusion criteria related to mental health, advocacy provision for African and Caribbean men. (ii) Four focus groups with African and Caribbean men to explore needs for and experiences of mental health advocacy. (iii) An investigation into current advocacy provision through a survey of advocacy provision in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. (iv) Twenty-two qualitative stakeholder interviews to investigate the operation of mental health advocacy for this client group. The study was undertaken in partnership with two service user-led organizations and an African Caribbean mental health service. Results  Primary research in this area is scant. Mainstream mental health advocacy services are often poor at providing appropriate services. Services developed by the Black Community and voluntary sector are grounded in different conceptualizations of advocacy and sharper understanding of the needs of African and Caribbean men. The lack of sustainable funding for these organizations is a major barrier to the development of high-quality advocacy for this group, reflecting a lack of understanding about their distinctive role. Conclusions  The commissioning and provision of mental health advocacy needs to recognize the distinct experiences of African and Caribbean men and develop capacity in the range of organizations to ensure equitable access.
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