Advocacy – giving a person support to have their voice heard – comes in different forms. Whether it’s self-advocacy, citizen advocacy or independent advocacy, it’s crucial to helping people understand their rights and express their views. Advocacy plays a key role for people suffering from a spinal cord injury, especially when it comes to accessing their rights and entitlements.
Where do I turn to for support with advocacy?
Someone who helps you express your views and wishes, while helping you stand up for your rights, is called your advocate. In Ireland, we are lucky to have a number of amazing services to assist with advocacy including:
National Advocacy Service
The National Advocacy Service (NAS) is an organisation that helps adults with disabilities. If you have a physical or intellectual disability, their staff are on hand to help you in any way they can. Services are currently operating via phone on 0761 07 30 00 from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday or by email at [email protected] at any time.
SAGE Advocacy Service
In circumstances where people may be vulnerable or have to depend on others, SAGE ensure that their rights, freedoms and dignity are promoted and protected. Their rapid-response service is available on 1850 71 94 00 from 8am to 10pm every day, where urgent support is available nationwide within 24 hours. If it is not an emergency, they ask that you contact SAGE on (01) 536 73 30 or at [email protected].
Patient Advocacy Service
This independent, free and confidential service provides information and support to people who want to make a complaint about an experience they have had in a HSE-funded public acute hospital. You can contact the Patient Advocacy Service helpline on 0818 29 30 03 Monday to Friday from 10am until 4pm, including lunchtimes. Alternatively, you can email them [email protected].