Monthly Archives: September 2015

Welfare Advocacy Support Pilot – Evidence to the Scottish Government

This week the Scottish Government’s Welfare Reform Committee heard evidence on the future delivery of Social Security in Scotland. Andrew Strong from the ALLIANCE gave evidence along with a number of representatives from disability organisations on how welfare reform can be improved when parts of it are devolved in 2017. Andrew spoke about the importance of advocacy support and the difference it can make to individuals going through the assessment process. Andrew was able to cite evidence from the pilot about how having advocacy support before and during the process directly affects the outcomes for people which in turn not only reduces the claimants’ stress and distress and but also reduces the need for appeals. We hope that the importance of independent advocacy support for people going through welfare assessments will be recognised in future Scottish proposals on devolved welfare powers.

Suicide Prevention Week

10th September is World Suicide Prevention Day and this week is Suicide Prevention Week. This is an opportunity to to remember those who have been bereaved and those who are at risk. Last year alone, there were 696 registered deaths by suicide in Scotland. If you are worried about someone, ask if they may be feeling suicidal Here you will find information about how to ask and where to seek help. If you are feeling suicidal,  Here is the link to Breathing Space Scotland, an organisation which has online and 24hr telephone support at the weekend and 6am – 2am Mon – Thurs. You can also contact The Samaritans 24hrs on 08457 90 90 90 or dial 999 if you are in crisis. Choose Life.

New MWC report on Enhanced Observation on Mental Health Wards

The Mental Welfare Commission have published a new report on Enhanced Observations on mental health wards. The report is based on visits to wards across Scotland over the past few months where the MWC have spoke to patients, health professionals named persons. The report reiterates the need for access to independent advocacy, particularly for those under enhanced observations to ensure their rights are being upheld.