Mental Health Association of Central Florida

Guardian Advocate

Guardian Advocate Training Program

The Guardian Advocate training program is a dynamic and vital four hour certification course. This course offers a trainee the opportunity to become better versed in patients’ rights and the Baker Act. This training will build confidence in the times in which we much use this act for a family member, friend, or a client. Trainees will receive a specific certification that will allow them to advocate for an individual while they are Baker Acted.

Knowledge gained from training will include:

  • Patients’ Rights
  • Your Rights as Guardian Advocate
  • Baker Act and Related Laws
  • Medication and Treatment Planning
  • Mental Health Awareness

Individual Training: $50.00 per person
Call now to reserve your training time: 407-898-0110

Guardian Advocate Volunteers

Guardian Advocate Volunteers respond to requests for temporary guardianship of involuntarily committed clients from local behavioral hospitals. When persons are involuntarily hospitalized under the Baker Act and have no family members to act on their behalf, volunteers are appointed to act on the patient’s behalf. Volunteers advocate for the rights of the patient and act as a safety net to ensure that the patient is being treated and fairly in the facility. Volunteers meet with the patient 2-3 times per week and get to know them as best they can so they can make decisions using substituted judgment.

At this time you must have occasional availability on Mondays and/or Wednesdays from 8:30-11A to participate in this program. The schedule for this volunteer position is fairly flexible, and volunteers can take on as many clients as their availability and capacity will allow.  Volunteers are legally bound to act on behalf of the patient while the Baker Act is in place, which can be a period of 6 weeks or greater.  These individuals are currently at their lowest levels of functioning due to their crisis.  They often have a lack of awareness or insight into their condition or level of wellness.   The most common diagnoses that advocates are requested for are schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and schizoaffective disorder.

Responsibilities include researching and approving medications and treatment plans, working with the treatment team, and advocating for a patients’ rights under the Baker Act.  Four hour training is required to be a Guardian Advocate. There is a nominal fee for a background check for volunteers.

If you’d like to apply for this opportunity email programcoordinator@mhacf.org your resume and availability to Brooke Bajor. The subject of the email should read “Guardian Advocate Applicant”.

 

“A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION & FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.” (Registration #CH 1245)