Independent Mental Health Advocacy [IMHA]

Who can refer for an IMHA?

A member of the clinical staff involved in the patients care, or the person themselves can refer for an IMHA. Staff should provide the person with access to referring, or, refer on their behalf so long as the patient consents.

When can you refer for an IMHA?

A patient must be eligable to receive an IMHA. Eligibility depends on the Mental Health section or Order which is being used to ‘detain’ them.

Eligible patients include those:

  1. Detained under the Mental Health Act EXCEPT those detained under S.4, S.5, S.135 or S.136 (even if ‘on leave’ from hospital)
  2. Conditionally discharged ‘restricted’ patients
  3. People subject to a Guardianship Order
  4. People subject to supervised Community Treatment Orders (CTO)

What we can do?

  • We can support the person to voice their views in relation to their detention, treatment and/ or care – including speaking with staff to ensure the persons views are known.
  • We can support the person by ensuring any information is provided in a way they can understand.
  • We can provide people with their legal rights under the Mental Health Act.
  • We can support the person to understand what treatment is being given and/or proposed, and, support them to explore their options.
  • We can explain any conditions or restrictions which apply to them.
  • We can support people to appeal their detention, and prepare them for meetings, tribunals, etc.

What happens next?

Our IMHA’s will end their involvement when the person is discharged from their qualifying section/s and detaining hospital. Or, if the person revokes their consent to IMHA support at any time (people can always re-refer).

If you are interested in finding out more about our IMHA’s, please contact us.

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