Get help speaking up - advocacy

There are times when people living with multiple sclerosis or their carers need someone to speak up on their behalf. This is called advocacy.
 
An advocate works to ensure the rights of people are upheld by supporting people to make decisions affecting their lives.
This includes:

  • providing you with information

  • helping you understand your options so you can make an informed choice

  • taking your direction

  • taking action on your behalf.

 
An advocate can be a family member, friend, a team member from the MS organisation or a person from an external organisation.
 
We encourage you to use an advocate when you need help negotiating with us, or the service system. We can help you access an advocate if you need one, but we won’t be advocates in relation to our own organisation.
 

What kinds of advocacy can you provide?

 Our MS team members provide support and services to people living with multiple sclerosis in ACT, NSW, TAS and VIC.  As part of these services, we can help you:

  • understand and exercise your rights

  • change the situation you’re in

  • gain control over a situation

  • get better access to services

  • negotiate the health and disability systems

 
To have a conversation about how we can help, contact MS Connect™ (Freecall 1800 042 138 or email msconnect@ms.org.au).
 

What kinds of advocacy can MS Australia provide?

MS Australia is the national organisation responsible for advocacy and communication.
 
MS Australia runs the National Advocates Program which aims to bring about big, systemic changes that will benefit all people living with multiple sclerosis. They do this by encouraging changes to the law, government and service provider policies and community attitudes. Each year they decide on a set number of issues to focus on, called the ‘Annual Statement of Priorities’.
 
MS Australia also collaborates with the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation, Consumers Health Forum, Australian Council of Social Services, National Disability Services and the Neurological Alliance Australia to advance the interests of people affected by multiple sclerosis.
 
Learn more on their website: www.msaustralia.org.au/about-msa/what-we-do/advocacy

What kinds of advocacy do other, non-MS organisations provide?

There are a number of other organisations that provide advocacy.
 
The main differences between their service and ours are:

  • they are independent — so they can help provide advocacy in relation to our organisation if required

  • they often have specialty focus areas — such as aged care or ethnic communities

  • they don’t focus on helping you negotiate the health and disability systems, but more your rights in doing so.

 




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