On the 18 August 2016, the British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) launched our new advocacy human rights toolkit, developed in partnership with six organisations across England. These resources can be downloaded for free here.

BIHR’s project Care and Support: A Human Rights Approach to Advocacy, is empowering six advocacy and support organisations to make best use of the Human Rights Act in their everyday work supporting people with mental health and/or mental capacity issues.

Taking an innovative approach, the project works directly with staff and service-users and clients at Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen, n|compass advocacy service, the National Service User Network (NSUN), WISH (A voice for women’s mental health), Mind Brighton and Hove, BHA (Leeds Skyline). We also engage with the wider local voluntary sector in our partner areas to help improve the human rights capacity of advocates locally. We have a number of upcoming events - to see more information about them, and to book on, please click here.

Our new resources are an important contribution to meeting the need for accessible, authoritative and practical information to support people and their advocates in ensuring health and care services respect and protect their human rights.

Stephen Bowen, Director of the British Institute of Human Rights said:

“The British Institute of Human Rights is pleased to be launching our national advocacy toolkit with our partner Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen. Our work shows the often untold story of human rights; how our Human Rights Act can empower people who are all too often disempowered and support them in receiving the dignified and respectful care everyone wants to see. We look forward to continuing work with Healthwatch BWD and advocacy partners to place our much needed human rights resources into the hands of people with mental health and mental capacity issues.”

Mark Rasburn, Chief Executive of Healthwatch BwD, said:

“We’re proud of have been selected to publically launch these national toolkits in Blackburn with Darwen. They’ve been designed to help people who use mental health and/or capacity services get the best care possible. Being able to share these resources with our local residents first is a huge achievement and benefit to the local area.”

Karen Blair, Senior Duty Advocate and IMCA at n|compass advocacy service, said:

“n|compass advocacy service empowers individuals to develop their self advocacy skills by building their capacity to respond to their own health and social care concerns. Thanks to our work with the British Institute of Human Rights our involvement in the development of the project resources, advocates are able to hand even more autonomy to people we support. By providing the resources to individuals they are able to understand and feel empowered to apply human rights principles to their care and treatment.”

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