Self Advocacy

What is Self-Advocacy?

“Self Advocacy helped me learn what I needed to know to appeal and win against ATOS”

Have you experienced mental distress? Used mental health services? Not been listened to?

Self Advocacy (SA) is a FREE series of classes and talks teaching the skills you need to have a stronger voice in situations where you previously weren’t listened to, were discriminated against, or found barriers stopping you from accessing information or services.

Self Advocacy

It’s an award-winning training course (we won the prestigious Best Practice Award in Peer Support Development from the Mental Health Providers Forum for training that empowered people to be more confident in asserting themselves and supporting others) that provides an informal but structured environment where you can meet others with similar experiences and together learn strategies to cope with challenging issues, behaviours or situations, and learn how to improve your general wellbeing.

Self Advocacy workshops take place on Tuesdays from 11am to 1pm and Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm.

All sessions are free for everyone regardless of a personal budget. 

What our previous participants say:

“Lack of confidence is one of the biggest disadvantages for disabled people and building it up is very important. It’s why I started self advocacy. It led on to a lot of things for me like music, creative writing and poetry, which I didn’t realise I could do until I did self advocacy. It’s been a stepping stone. It gave me the confidence and information to tackle my housing problem and certain access needs. Self advocacy can give you the confidence to know when to self advocate and when you need outside support.”

Get yourself heard, listened to, and your views acted upon!
Places are still available – core training places are free and available for people from across London, and beyond! Please contact us as there is no fixed joining date, we’ll advise on the most appropriate date to take up the training.

Self-Advocacy Skills Training -  megaphoneSkills for a stronger voiceSchedule for November 2014

4th November | 11am-1pm - Winter and Mental Health

Winter is here, along with dampness and dark mornings and evenings. CoolTan Arts Self Advocacy trainer, Tara Logan-Shand will facilitate a session about  managing our mental hearth over the gloomier months and look at ways we can look at wellbeing through healthy food, cosy activities and staying well.

6th November | 2pm – 4pm - How Can I Value Myself when Society Tells me I’m Worthless? 

This is part three of Karen Unrue’s Self Esteem workshops. Karen will share her knowledge of developing self-esteem against the odds! This workshop focuses on how you can value yourself even when society tells you that you are worthless.

11th November | 11am – 1pm - Speaking with Confidence

Shyness, anxiety, feeling like you have nothing to say or you won’t be heard? Tara Logan-Shand believes that having the confidence to speak up is the key to getting what you need or what you want. This session will focus on tips that help you gain confidence in meetings and social situations, and also manage DWP matters such as tribunals.

13th November | 2pm – 4pm - Simon Hughes MP at CoolTan Arts

CoolTan Arts is pleased to welcome Simon Hughes, MP for Lambeth, to speak with our participants as part of Self Advocacy. Prior to this session we are hoping to gather some ideas about what we would like to discuss at the group

18th November | 11am – 1pm - Challenging Discrimination and Internalising Stigma

Discrimination; something many of us face in our daily lives. It’s hard to challenge and nearly impossible to stop, but this is exactly why we need to work together to stamp out stigma and discrimination! This session will give you guidance on how to challenge and constructively end discrimination.

20th November | 2pm – 4pm - Understanding How Medicines Work with Kalliopi Vallianatou of SLaM

Want to understand what you are taking, why it’s been prescribed and how it affects you? Kalliopi will be here to clear up misconceptions, offer a guide to popular prescribed drugs and answer your queries about what to do if you are unhappy with your medication.

25th November | 11am – 1pm - Self Advocacy Reflective Session

This is our regular meeting to discuss which sessions people would like to attend in Self Advocacy. Please come along to discuss what you have enjoyed over the past month and what you might like to attend in the future.

27th November | 2pm – 4pm - Mental and Physical Health

With so many myths and ‘jargon’ about diagnosis and physical health being affected by medication for psychiatric treatment, we feel that it would be helpful to know the real facts behind drugs, diagnosis, mental wellbeing and staying well. Tara Logan-Shand will look at the truth behind the myths and share ideas about managing wellbeing, especially over the coming festive season.

Self Advocacy will be running a 6 week program for participants who have attended 5 or more sessions and would like to be part of a group who will develop skills to co-facilitate, lead and train others in self advocacy!
The new course will focus upon key skills, such as planning a session, group dynamics, presentations and public speaking.

The benefits of this course;
• Gain skills for employment
• Develop your confidence
• Learn how to plan and present
• Understand how a group runs
We hope to start the course at the beginning of November every Wednesday from 11-1pm. Speak to Kaya or Tara for more information!
You will need to commit to signing up for this 6 week course.

Additional training dates may be added, please check the website for possible changes.

All workshops are based at CoolTan Arts unless specified. Please check in advance with us – thank you.

For more details, please call 020 77012696/0798 565 8443 or email

If the individual is with a CMHT then we require that the Care Coordinator fills in a referral form and sends it to Karen Unrue

CoolTan’s Self Advocacy team are:

Kaya Volke Acting Advocacy Training Coordinator

Tara Logan-Shand Self Advocacy Trainer

tel: 020 7701 2696
mobile: 0798 565 8443




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