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date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses mental health advocacy in the UK and how the history of mental health care has influenced current practice, as well as how the advocacy sector in general has shaped government policy and legislation. The emphasis is on England and Wales, although advocacy delivery in Scotland and Northern Ireland is also considered. The chapter first defines advocacy and outlines its history in the UK before analyzing recent developments in the country. It then examines the principles of advocacy (independence; empowerment; representation, information, support; accountability; confidentiality), together with different forms of advocacy in the UK and key legislation, including the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Health Act 1983 in England and Wales. Finally, it looks at issues and challenges faced by mental health advocates with regard to ethics and values, such as conflicts of interest and duty, the nature of professional obligations and neutrality, and social justice.

Keywords: mental health advocacy, UK, mental health care, legislation, England and Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, ethics, conflicts of interest, social justice

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