Asist aims to enable people (advocacy partners) who have difficulty speaking out to speak up and make their own, informed, independent choices about decisions that affect their lives. We aim to provide the following people over the age of 18 in North Staffordshire with independent, generic, community based and specialist mental health one to one advocacy support:
• People with learning disabilities
• People with mental health
• People with physical / sensory conditions
Asist aims to individualise the benefits of advocacy within each advocacy partnership whilst also affecting wider changes in services through the collective advocacy process.
The benefits from advocacy are commonly identified as:
• individuals feel empowered
• their quality of life is improved
• their access to support options is improved
• communication between service users and professionals is improved
• there are wider changes in services. (Wetherell and Wetherell, 2008)
Asist aims to support an increase in the health literacy of our advocacy partners and within the general community of North Staffordshire.
Asist also aims to enable people who have difficulty speaking out to speak up and make their own, informed, independent choices about decisions that affect their lives. Advocacy promotes increased levels of health literacy through one to one advocacy support which in turn promotes patient activation (self-advocacy) by advocacy partners.
Advocates support advocacy partners to:
• navigate a way through the healthcare system
• discuss health information and medical concerns with healthcare providers
• prepare questions regarding medical concerns for healthcare providers
• participate and speak up in meetings with healthcare providers
• understand information and discussion within healthcare meetings
• explore accessible information about health issues, self care and disease management
• consider treatment options in order to make informed decisions
• request a second medical opinion if they so wish
• challenge decisions about their care and treatment if they so wish
• act on medical related information