“I know I have rights, choices and a voice”
Over the last year SUF members have been saying that they do not understand their legal rights when receiving mental health care; did not know that they had choices or even basic fundamental human rights. Patients who had been detained under Section of the Mental Health Act 2007, also did not understand the rights they had whilst being on a section. Through newsletter articles SUF has begun to inform our members and supporters about our human and legal rights. At the same time SUF has been talking about these concerns with Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust, at their law forum and to Suffolk County Council, Customer Rights team, who fund mental health advocacy.
Together with VoiceAbility, SUF will from April 2016, pilot a new way of offering information about rights and choices, to support greater focus on the quality of advocacy for mental health in Suffolk. The SUF Mental Health Advocate will hold regular inpatient/ward based ‘drop in’ sessions providing information and referral to the professional Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) where appropriate.
James Woolnough joined SUF on the 16th May 2016 as our Mental Health Advocate. He has worked in mental health and the voluntary sector for a number of years. Previous positions include being the PALS officer for Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust and Trust Membership Officer. He has also undertaken voluntary work for mental health charities in Suffolk, including Suffolk Mind, East Suffolk Advocacy Network (ESAN) and was a mental health volunteer.
James Woolnough, Mental Health Advocate, Suffolk User Forum
Tel Office: 01473 907087
Mobile: 07956 528638