October 2022
Welcome to the CAPS Independent Advocacy newsletter! In this edition there's an important conference by and for people with experience of mental health issues, and a conversation with one of CAPS' volunteers. There's also news from the Scottish Mental Health Law Review and the Peer Forum and more!
People's Conference: the price of recovery

The People’s Conference is an annual event by and for people with lived experience of mental health issues. This year will focus on how support is provided in the cost of living crisis. The first speaker on the panel will be Maggie Chapman MSP. Speakers from Home Energy Scotland, Changeworks, Nourish, and Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty will follow. The conference will take place on the 4th November in person at the Eric Liddell Centre in Edinburgh.

poster with a drawing of a battery with spoons fading, The Price of Recovery in orange writing and the words 'CAPS Independent Advocacy People's Conference A FREE event (with lunch included) by and for people with mental health issues. At the Eric Liddel Centre 4/11/2022. 10.30am-4.30pm. Register by contacting Molly on 07989402612 or molly@capsadvocacy.org. CAPS Lothian Voices logo and charity status information.
We hope that you’ll be able to join us! Find out more or register by contacting Molly at molly@capsadvocacy.org or 07989 402612 by Monday the 24th of October. The event is for people with their own lived experience of mental health issues.

Scotland’s strategy for improving mental health services

The Scottish Government recently asked for people’s views on their proposals for the next Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy for Scotland. A collective advocacy group known as Lothian Voices were facilitated by CAPS to make a response. The group members all have their own lived experience of mental health issues. They spoke about the importance of having a voice and accessibility. They also made clear that worrying about money was one of the main things that was negative for their mental health. They had many other ideas about how mental health could be improved in Scotland. Read more.

A conversation with Tom

"Innovative. Teamwork. Worthwhile". These are the three words that CAPS volunteer, Tom, chose to sum up his experience of volunteering with CAPS. This conversation looks at what brought Tom to CAPS and what volunteering is like for him. He has also got some advice for people who are thinking of volunteering: "What I would say is that there are unknown opportunities that will come up as a result of getting involved with CAPS". Read more.

Peer Forum improving experiences of peer workers in Edinburgh

The Peer Forum at CAPS Independent Advocacy is a collective advocacy space for people who use their mental health lived experience as peer workers or volunteers in Edinburgh. Peer workers or volunteers use their own experience of mental health issues in an intentional way to benefit others. The Forum's recent survey aims to understand what is good within peer work, what needs further improvement and what might be causing people to move on from peer working roles. The anonymous findings from this survey will be shared with stakeholders and decision makers with the aim of improving experiences of peer workers in Edinburgh. Read more.

Scottish Mental Health Law Review published

The final report of the Scottish Mental Health Law Review has been published. It represents the product of over three years work in the first major review of mental health and capacity law in Scotland in over twenty years. One of the three aspects of the vision for mental health law highlighted by the review is ‘strengthening the voice of people who use services’. A number of CAPS’ participants and volunteers worked together to make responses to the consultation. Thank you to all who contributed! Read the article on the review’s website.

200 voices at Scotland’s biggest mental health art exhibition

Out of Sight Out of Mind is Scotland’s biggest mental health art exhibition. This time it shows art works made by over 200 people including films, paintings, sculptures, photography, installations and more. The exhibition fills three floors in Edinburgh’s acclaimed Summerhall Galleries. The exhibition shows work by, and is organised by, people who have their own experience of mental health issues. There’s still time to catch the show, it’s on until the 30th October 2022. Find out more.

A woman, Fadzai Mwakutuya, stands in a grassy landscape wearing an artwork made from card that reads Pazhe Outside Fadzai Mwakutuya
Call for respondents: survey about men and eating disorders  

The ‘Seen But Not Heard’ Collective Advocacy Project have created a survey about men and eating disorders. If you live in the UK and identify or align with the experience of being a man with an eating disorder we want to hear from you! The results will be used to raise awareness of issues affecting men with eating disorders. Please respond to the survey here. If you have any questions please contact ellis@capsadvocacy.org. 

Save the date: 2nd December!
Please put the 2nd December in your diaries as this will be the CAPS AGM! Keep an eye on the website events page for details coming soon!
Welcome to new staff

Rachael Pearson joined CAPS in September 2022 as Children and Young People’s Individual Advocacy Worker for Lothian and Scottish Borders. Her role is to support Children and Young People experiencing an eating disorder to have as much choice and control as possible over their care and treatment. Also, to help them have their views and wishes heard in any other aspects of their life, for example education.

Prior to joining CAPS Rachael worked with Children and Young People with Autism or a learning disability in a residential setting. She also completed her degree in Sociology and Criminology.

A woman, Rachael, smiling standing in a hallway

Lily Walton joined the CAPS team in September 2022. She stepped into a whole new role and service developed by CAPS as the named Individual Advocacy worker for Adults with Eating Disorders working across Edinburgh and Lothians. She supports individuals in both the community and inpatient admissions within eating disorder and mental health services.

Lily’s role is to support individuals with eating disorders by helping to amplify their voice if they feel they are struggling to be heard and to be on their side.

Portrait photograph of a woman, Lily, smiling
Very best wishes from all at CAPS!
Not already receiving these newsletters by email? Subscribe here
CAPS Independent Advocacy is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation Scottish Charity number: SC021772