Advocacy - someone to speak up for you

Sometimes you may feel you are not being listened to by health and social care workers or perhaps your own family. You may feel unable to communicate or express yourself in order to get your own view point across.

An advocate is someone who will support you to make sure that your views and rights are respected, that you are treated fairly, your concerns are taken into account and you have real control over the big decisions in your life. They can help you speak up at meetings, deal with difficult issues and help understand important decisions that are being made. They are professionally trained, fair and impartial, and the service is completely confidential and independent of the local authority.

Some advocacy services you can get for yourself, without any help from us, by contacting our local advocacy providers direct. Other advocacy, usually the advocacy we have to provide by law, will only be given to you if we agree that you are eligible for it.

If you're unsure about your right to have an advocate, speak to your case worker or one of our local advocacy providers.

To find out more information and make a referral, visit the Kent Advocacy website.

To get an advocate you must be 18 years and above, have mental health needs, and live in Kent.

You can also have an advocate if you are in hospital or if you have been detained under the Mental Health Act (unless you have been sectioned in an emergency). An advocate is independent of the hospital or place of detention and is trained to help you understand your rights.

Area coveredOrganisation
East Kent (Ashford, Canterbury, Dover, Shepway, Swale and Thanet)Rethink Mental Illness
West Kent (Dartford, Gravesham, Maidstone, Sevenoaks and Swanley, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and surrounding rural areas)Assert Advocacy

To get an advocate, you must be over 18 years old, have a learning disability and live in Kent.

Contact Advocacy for All.

To get an advocate, you must be over 18 years old, have a physical disability and live in Kent.

Contact Centre for Independent Living Kent .

You can access an advocate from Citizens Rights for Older People (CROP) if you are over 50 years old and live in Kent.

  • Hearing impaired (British Sign Language users) - contact the Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD).
  • Sight impaired - contact to be confirmed.
  • Autistic spectrum conditions - contact seAp on 0300 343 5714 or kent@seap.org.uk. They will advise you whether you can refer yourself or need a professional to refer you.

Health complaints

For health complaints regarding advocacy, contact seAp on 0300 343 5714 or kent@seap.org.uk.