ARE YOU BEING HEARD?

user led mental health advocacy

About BAMHAG

Our Mission Statement

Our mission as a User Led Organisation is to work in partnership with people who need support to help them express their views and ensure that they are heard. 

 

Bradford & Airedale Mental Health Advocacy Group (BAMHAG) is a registered Charity Incorporated Organisation.  We provide statutory and non-statutory advocacy and related support. Our services are User Led, Confidential, and Free at the point of delivery. We are Independent from Statutory Health and Social Care providers and the care and treatment provided.

 

We are committed to acting as a voice for people’s experiences of services, and advocating for their needs to ensure services are responsive, appropriate and person centred. 

 

Through providing advocacy we enable people who find it difficult to communicate to say what they need, represent their interests, secure their rights and obtain services they need.

 

BAMHAG supports and promotes the development of Advocacy, is a member of the national Advocacy Action Alliance, and our services are independently assessed for quality.  We ensure that our advocates are trained, supervised and supported.  We welcome feedback from all stakeholders in order to review and improve our services.    

 

We aim to provide and promote our services with positive regard to equality and accessibility. 

 

Our History

 

Bradford & Airedale Mental Health Advocacy Group (BAMHAG) is a unique organisation providing Independent Mental Health User Led Services since 1989. We provide specialist user led Mental Health Advocacy; occupy a liaison role in relation to local mental health commissioners on behalf of mental health service users and carers; and also have a Mental Health Befriending among our other service areas.... BAMHAG have developed specialist knowledge ensuring we provide the very best service possible to mental health service users both in hospitals and communities. BAMHAG is a ‘user-led’ service meaning that the majority of our staff and volunteers have had experience as a service user, or carer. This adds a passionate dynamic to BAMHAG where workers are acutely aware of how important advocacy is, many of whom have received advocacy services themselves.

Having been awarded a national award for Positive Practice in Mental Health we have also worked hard to achieve a number of quality marks for our service areas and maintain an on-going developmental approach to our work that is both innovative and unique.

Over many years and with grants and commissioning support, BAMHAG have worked hard to ensure that the services we provide maintain the key elements of being both independent and of being user led. Empowerment, participation, inclusion and de-stigmatisation are central to the services we provide and to those using mental health services. We are the longest standing service user led organisation to provide these services in the UK, and have been at the forefront of the developments within advocacy and user led mental health representation.

The uncertain nature of grant making and changing local commissioning structures create a level of uncertainty and instability for BAMHAG and other of the voluntary sector service providers. This is evident in that BAMHAG receives no direct financial support to maintain the core of the organisation; and all of our income is for the projects we manage and the services we provide.

As with many organisations our services are supported by a mixture of locally commissioned, and Charitable Trust funded provision, and we are always looking to maintain our services through developing current and accessing new sources of income.

 

Non-Statutory Mental Health Advocacy

Statutory Mental Health Advocacy

Advocacy is taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain services they need. Advocates and advocacy schemes work in partnership with the people they support and take their side. Advocacy promotes social inclusion, equality and social justice.

This is where people have a right in law to have an advocate. The right to advocate in specific circumstances can be found in the:
Mental Capacity Act 2005: this act provided a framework for acting and making decisions on behalf of individuals who lack capacity to do so by themselves. It created the role of Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) that supports people who lack capacity and who have no family or friends to support them when they need to make big decisions in their lives for example, serious medical treatment, moving house or safeguarding.

Mental Health Act 2007: this act provided Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHA) across England for patients who are detained under the Mental Health Act commonly known as sectioned.

Care Act Advocacy 2014: this act provides Independent Care Act Advocates (ICAA) for those who experience substantial difficulty to engage in their Care Planning or Reviews.

 

You can download a copy of our Constitution here.