Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) in Westminster

Service Category: Mental Health

  • This service is currently delivered by the The Advocacy Project

    Independent Mental Health Advocacy services were introduced to safeguard the rights of people detained under the Mental Health Act 2007 and those on community treatment orders (CTOs). Independent mental health advocates (IMHAs) aim to enable qualifying users to participate in decisions about their care and treatment.

    An independent mental health advocate is a statutory advocate, granted specific roles and responsibilities under the Mental Health Act. Their role is to assist qualifying patients understand the legal provisions to which they are subject under the Mental Health Act 1983 and the rights and safeguards to which they are entitled. They also assist qualifying users to exercise their rights by supporting participation in decision making.

    People are eligible to use independent mental health advocacy services in England if they are:

    • detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (excluding people detained under certain short-term sections)
    • conditionally discharged restricted patients
    • subject to guardianship
    • subject to CTOs


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