Advocacy and participation in mental health cases: Realisable rights or pipe-dreams?

This article discusses Australian experiences of mental health clients, legal advocates and other stakeholders in the mental health review system. We review forms of advocacy, the reactions to these, and the contribution lawyers make to protecting rights within this field. Based on our fieldwork we suggest a mixed model of advocacy, one that includes legal representation that goes beyond simple 'following instructions', but also self-advocacy, systemic advocacy and mobilisation of support networks. We suggest that Jan Brakel was right to recently call for a re-conceptualisation of mental health advocacy, and indicate ways this might be achieved.
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