Georgia Wood, Independent Mental Health Advocate at Wish, shares her thoughts on using human rights

I work for Wish as an Independent Mental Health Advocate. Wish is a registered national charity whose mission it is to provide long term, gender-sensitive support services to women with mental health needs in their journey through the criminal justice and mental health systems and into the community, and to support women to have their voices heard at a policy level.

Wish partnered with BIHR on their project Care and Support: A Human Rights Approach to Advocacy. The training that I received through BIHR has been invalubale to embedding a human rights approach in my work. The workshops and the resources were first class. I would like to thank all the staff there for providing such wonderful and informative training.

As part of the project, BIHR created a network of other organisations working across mental health and mental capacity. It was interesting to meet other professionals from other organisations. This enabled me to learn from their experience in their work place and the challenges that they have encountered in relation to using human rights.

Embedding a human rights approach in my work is extremely important.

Human rights are basic rights that must be protected, escpecially for those vunerable in society and whose voice is sometimes not heard.

I have been using the information I learnt from the BIHR in my work and have provided information to the women I work with and also the staff in the hospital. The staff have been receptive to understanding the Human Rights Act. It is important for them to understand that these rights are enshringed in law and that staff play a crucial role in ensuring that the rights of patients aren't abused but upheld and protected.