POhWER Advocacy Updates: online resources; weekly mental health support group

8 February 2021

Advocacy is about supporting others to get their voice heard. To be at the centre of decision making, understanding their rights and being able to express their views and concerns.

In Nottinghamshire, we commission POhWER, a charity that provides information, advice, support and advocacy to people who experience disability, vulnerability, distress and social exclusion to provide our statutory advocacy services.

There is a single point of access for people making referrals for advocacy.  All contact should be made to Your Voice Your Choice ‘who can be contacted on 0300 020 0093, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (except public holidays).

Please read this story from an advocate that works with POhWER about someone they’re working with:

“Mr A is someone who is going to be moving into new accommodation.  He has a mental health condition, a mild learning disability and is currently on a section of the Mental Health Act.  During my time of getting to know Mr A, I made sure that all contact took place on a Thursday as this day suited Mr A best, in the afternoon to give him time to engage in the mornings.  We agreed that I would call the same time that his social workers called to maintain consistency.  I spoke to him about the type of place that he would like to live and was able to feed this back to the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) which worked well.
When the new accommodation was identified, Mr A and myself had a more complex conversation as I explained about the layout of the accommodation, that his kitchen wouldn’t be in his apartment and that it wasn’t in an area that he had first said he wanted to live, but that it would be a discharge out of hospital and his social worker was going to continue to look in the area he wants to live.  I liaised with a Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) on the unit, who developed an easy-read for Mr A and for me, so when I went through the information it was a structured conversation and Mr A could see what I was talking about.
The success of this was relayed to the MDT who agreed that this had worked so well, working together to give Mr A the most informed information about his future.”

In addition to advocacy services, POhWer has a number of ways that people can get involved with them:

The Empohwer Nottingham regularly shares relevant information, advice, events and resources to support vulnerable people in the community.  People can also message the page privately for support.  POhWER have their ‘virtual drop in’ which  is an online opportunity for anyone to ask a professional advocate questions about their care and treatment, rights, mental health support and how to get their voice heard.

The Empohwer group is an online peer support group that offers information, advice and peer support for people who are affected by mental health and/or isolation. The group is private, free and no referral or diagnosis is required.

POhWER has also recently launched the ‘Voices Heard Lives Empowered’ podcast on their YouTube channel, iTunes and Soundcloud. The podcasts are a mixture of self-help tools and discussions about relevant health and social care issues.  This week, POhWER are releasing the ‘Advocate Stories’ series in which they speak to several advocates about their background, their role and success stories.

POhWER Weekly MH support group

POhWER delivers a weekly peer support group for anyone who is affected by mental health and/or isolation.

The group is a friendly, welcoming, safe place, where people can talk about their mental health and wellbeing with people who have similar experiences. POhWER will also offer information, advice and support, as well as refer to our statutory service where possible.

It is free, confidential and you do not need a referral or diagnosis.

Every Monday at 1pm on Zoom.

If you would like to join the group or would like more information please message Empohwer Nottingham or email S.Burns@pohwer.net

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