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Advocacy

If you’ve been detained under the Mental Health Act (1983) or you live in Ealing and need support from our Independent Advocates, we can help.

Our advocates are known as IMHAs when working with detained patients, this means Independent Mental Health Advocates.

What is advocacy?

We all know how frustrating it can be when people aren’t listening to us. Unfortunately, having a mental health problem can sometimes mean it’s even harder to have your opinions and ideas taken seriously by others.

This can be very difficult to deal with, especially when you need to communicate often with health and social care professionals. You might find they don’t always offer you all the opportunities and choices you would like or involve you fully in decisions about your care.

Advocacy means getting support from another person to help you express your views and wishes, and help you stand up for your rights. Someone who helps you in this way is called your advocate.

What an IMHA can do for you

An IMHA can help you understand:

·        Your rights under the Mental Health Act 1983 and why certain decisions have been made

·        The rights which other people (such as your nearest relative) have in relation to you under the Mental Health Act 1983

·        The parts of the Mental Health Act 1983 which apply to you (such as the basis on which you are detained) and make you eligible for an IMHA

·        Any conditions or restrictions you are subject to (for example, relating to leave of absence from hospital or a CTO)

·        Any medical treatment that you are receiving or might be given, including:

·        The reasons for that treatment or proposed treatment

·        The legal basis for providing that treatment

·        The safeguards and other requirements of the Mental Health Act 1983 which would apply to that treatment.

 

On a practical level, an IMHA can help you:

·        Exercise your rights under the Mental Health Act 1983

·        Express your views about your care and treatment

·        Make a complaint about your care or treatment

·        Enforce your rights and get what you are entitled to

·        Make an application to the Mental Health Tribunal

·        Present your views and support you at a Mental Health Tribunal hearing

·        Access legal advice

·        By representing you and speaking on your behalf – for example at review meetings or hospital managers’ hearings.

 

Eligibility

·        Over 18

·        Detained or informal and in Cygnet Hospital Harrow

 

Our achievements and your feedback

Last year our Advocates supported 720 people within the inpatient wards.

‘Very helpful and considerate staff.’

‘I understood my rights as a result of using the service.’

‘I met professional people who knew how to solve my problems.’

 

Next step

Phone 020 8571 7454

Self-refer or ask your health professional or social worker to refer you

Or fill in the form below:

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