The Advocacy Project delivers free and confidential Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IHMA) services to resident patients at Broadmoor Hospital. One of four specialist psychiatric hospitals in the UK, the hospital provides assessment and care to patients suffering mental health conditions who require treatment within a high secure environment.
Based inside hospital grounds, our advocates provide an additional safety net for patients who are subject to the Mental Health Act 1983. Advocates regularly visit patients during ward rounds to make sure they are aware of services available. They provide information, support and signposting to empower individuals on any issues about their treatment. Our advocates are expert listeners, building up trust to encourage patients to express their own views wherever possible.
This October, organisations across the globe celebrated World Mental Health Day around the theme ‘Make mental health and wellbeing for all a global priority’. The Advocacy Project is proud to support this through projects such as our IMHA work.
In Broadmoor Hospital, our advocates create a safe space for the thoughts and feelings of patients to be voiced, and make sure they know their rights. They work with staff to see that plans are put in place to help patients feel in control of the decisions being made about their lives. But how does having access to advocacy help raise the voices of those who use our services? Our advocate Sharon worked with one patient who was inspired to write a poem about their experiences. Their feelings are powerfully expressed through poetry, and we are delighted to be able to share it here.
We know that the arts play an important role in helping people to find their voice, and poetry can offer a creative platform to explore our feelings and express things that are important to us. In this way, it shares a common purpose with the advocacy we provide, and we’re keen to continue celebrating the power of creativity in mental health recovery.