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24 - The Use of Patient Advocates in Supporting People with Psychosocial Disabilities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 August 2021

Michael Ashley Stein
Harvard Law School
Faraaz Mahomed
Wits University
Vikram Patel
Harvard Medical School
Charlene Sunkel
Global Mental Health Peer Network
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It is now well documented that support is an essential ingredient of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ (CRPD) paradigm shift for the exercise of legal capacity, and that patient advocacy has the potential to promote the CRPD’s values. What remains less documented is the support sought by and given to persons with psychosocial disabilities by family members and representative psychosocial disability organizations, consisting of persons with psychosocial disabilities and family members, and group advocacy undertaken by the latter. This chapter uses the personal story of a family member of a person with psychosocial disability to lay out some of the key issues relating to exercising legal capacity, including legal and practical barriers and obstacles, enabling factors, and supports that foster autonomy through honoring interdependence with family and friends, and the pivotal role of mixed groups of persons with psychosocial disabilities and family members in working to promote and ensure the right of persons of psychosocial disabilities to be consulted and to express their own views.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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