Mental Health Consumers' Motives for Seeking Advocacy Support: A Qualitative Exploration

Community Ment Health J. 2018 Jul;54(5):607-615. doi: 10.1007/s10597-017-0177-9. Epub 2017 Nov 1.


Advocacy plays a vital role in ensuring that mental health consumers' rights are maintained. However, the primary issues for which consumers seek advocacy support remain unknown. Understanding these issues provides a sound basis from which advocacy organisations may develop a clear service delivery focus. This study addresses the literature gap through presenting a qualitative analysis of 60 records from an advocacy service. Four major themes emerged, across which two key issues were dominant: the sense of fearfulness and disempowerment. These issues accentuate the importance of advocates in enhancing the agency of mental health consumers.

Keywords: Advocacy; Consumer; Mental health; Participation.

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Health
  • Motivation*
  • Patient Advocacy* / psychology
  • Professional-Patient Relations
  • Qualitative Research


  • Antipsychotic Agents