Who can be my advocate?
There are different types of advocates for different needs.
An informal advocate may be a:
- family member or relative
- close friend or neighbour
- community leader
A formal advocate may be a:
- support worker
- representative from organisation that supports your specific needs
You can choose your own advocate, or we can assist you to contact an independent advocacy agency. You can change your advocate or stop using an advocate at any time.
Your advocate should be someone who:
- you trust
- knows your culture and beliefs
- will respect your wishes
- is committed to supporting you with your health needs
What can my advocate help me with?
- talk with you to understand what you want to do
- consider if they are the right person to help you
- help you to find a solution to a problem
- involve you as much as possible
- only have access to your health information if you consent
- provide you with information
- help you to communicate and speak for yourself, or support you with communication aids
An advocate can offer suggestions and information about options, but the final decision will always be yours. cohealth encourages you to use an advocate when raising issues that make you feel overwhelmed, or if you are unsure about your rights. You can also use an advocate when receiving a service, including during the assessment or review process or if you are making a complaint..
Does my advocate get access to my health information?
Information is not shared with your advocate unless we have your consent to do so.
You need to download, print and complete an ‘Authority to Act as an Advocate’ form and return it via email, post or in person to your cohealth centre. These contact details are on the form. The completed form will be uploaded to your secure client electronic file. You can also get a copy of this form from the reception at your local cohealth centre.