Advocacy is a means of empowering people to have their rights respected and to be involved in decisions affecting their lives.  An advocacy service will not judge your situation or problem, but will work alongside you and help you be in control of your life.

What is advocacy?

  • First and foremost, enabling and supporting a person to speak up for themselves (self advocacy).

  • A means of empowering people by supporting them to assert their views and claim their rights and entitlements.

  • A means of enabling people who may have difficulty speaking up for themselves to do so.

  • Representing and negotiating on a person’s behalf.

  • Information and support in accessing community services e.g. housing, social welfare, employment, education, community mental health services.

  • Support and representation when dealing with services and ‘officials’.

Advocacy services

  • Citizen Information Centres offer a free, independent and confidential advocacy service to people who need support or representation in accessing their rights and entitlements. There are centres throughout the country and the service is free and confidential. You can also get Citizens Information by phoning the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm.

  • Citizen Information also provides the National Advocacy Service for people with disabilities. The National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities provides an independent, confidential and free, representative advocacy service that works exclusively for the person using the service and adheres to the highest professional standards. You can contact the service on 0761 07 3000

  • The Irish Advocacy Network offers peer advocacy services. The Network’s primary purpose is to provide information, choice and support to people experiencing mental health difficulties, enabling them to take control of their lives. All of their advocates have personal experience of mental health difficulties. The advocates meet people in acute psychiatric units, training centres, day centres and day hospitals, as well as in the community. 

Content provided by Shine and adapted for YourMentalHealth.ie by the National Office for Suicide Prevention. Find out more about our content partnerships