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Supporting people during their treatment under the mental health act

HomeAdvocacyIndependent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)

What is Independent Mental Health Advocacy?

An Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) supports people with issues relating to their mental health care and treatment and ensures their rights under the Mental Health Act.

IMHAs aid individuals to understand their rights under the Mental Health Act (1983) and understand any medical treatment that is being considered.

  • IMHAs can also:
  • Attend Mental Health Review Tribunals with you (this does not replace the role of the solicitor)
  • Negotiate your appropriate after care with other professionals.
  • Access other support and services for you.
  • Raise concerns about your experience and care.

Make a referral



Who is this service for?
Independent Mental Health Advocate’s are only available to people who meet certain criteria under the Mental Health Act. This includes people who are:

  • Detained under the Mental Health Act (sometimes known as someone ‘on a section’)- short term sections do not apply
  • On a community treatment order
  • Subject to a Guardianship
  • ‘Informal’ patients on a mental health ward who are either:
    (a) Being considered for treatment to which Section 57 applies. (S57: neurosurgery for mental disorder, surgical implantation of hormones to decrease male sex drive). or
    (b) Under 18 and being considered for electro-convulsive therapy or any other treatment to which Section 58a applies.

Who can access it?
If you are entitled to an Independent Mental Health Advocate, you can self refer yourself here.

IMHA Easy Read
IMHA Leaflet
IMHA Leaflet – CTO

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