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Mental Health

At Dumfries and Galloway Advocacy Service we provide Independent Advocacy for clients subject to the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. Our objective is to protect the rights of those people with a mental disorder – that being mental illness, personality disorder and learning disability – and to speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves.

Furthermore a client with Dementia may not be able to express their wishes, and would then require an Advocate to act on their behalf and work with the client to promote their best interests. This is known as non-instructed Advocacy.


Advocacy is person centred by definition.  This is particularly relevant to dementia advocacy and dementia care which puts the individual and their needs foremost, recognising and supporting their unique personal history and personality.  Their dementia is secondary.

There are two sides to advocacy which are particularly relevant to those with dementia: empowering and safeguarding.

By empowering an individual, we give them a voice, we include them in all decisions that affect their lives and we enable them to make decisions and express their views and wishes.

Safeguarding is particularly important when the individual may no longer be able to express themselves and make choices. Through our role we protect them from discrimination and neglect and ensure that their rights are respected and upheld. We also ensure that all decisions that are made take into account any expressed wishes and known aspects of their life that may enhance their quality of life.

As Advocates we help vulnerable adults by providing information about their care and treatment options, and aim to empower those adults to make informed choices. We can help vulnerable adults to communicate their wishes and feelings to professional agencies involved in their life such as the NHS and Local Authority, to ensure that their voice is being heard and recognised.