Mental Health

Providing support to people affected by mental illness in hospitals, care homes and the local community.

What is Independent Mental Health Advocacy?

Providing support to people affected by mental illness in hospitals, care homes and the local community.

What is Independent Mental Health Advocacy?

Independent Mental Health Advocacy was introduced in April 2009 as part of changes made to the Mental Health Act. These changes gave people who are detained under the Mental Health Act the right to have support from an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) for the period of their detention.

An IMHA is a qualified advocate who works under the framework of the Mental Health Act.

When can I get an IMHA?

You are entitled to an IMHA if:

  • you are detained under the Mental Health Act
  • have been provisionally discharged from hospital are in the community
  • are on a supervised Community Treatment Orders
  • are a voluntary patient considering serious medical treatment as a result of a mental health condition

What will an IMHA do?

An advocate is on your side. They will:

  • help you to understand your rights
  • obtain information about the conditions of your detention, care or medical treatment
  • Support you to be involved in your care and treatment
  • Support you to prepare for and take part in meetings and ward rounds
  • Help you to get a solicitor and challenge decisions you are not happy with
  • Meet with you in private and support you to speak up for yourself or represent you

How can I get an IMHA?

Referrals can be made by you, family members, or professionals such as doctors, nurses and social workers.

Advocacy for Informal Patients

What is Advocacy for Informal Patients?

This is available for people residing voluntarily in hospital. It is a service for patients who are not eligible for statutory advocacy services, such as (IMHA), but who would benefit from advocacy support.

An advocate will have experience of working within mental health settings.

What will an advocate do?

An advocate is on your side. They will:

  • Listen to you and talk through your options
  • Explain your rights
  • Help you prepare for meetings
  • Go to meetings with you and raise concerns
  • Help you to speak up or speak for you
  • Support you in making decisions

How can I get an advocate?

Referrals can be made by you or a professional with your consent.

  • Professional’s referral form Download
  • Self-referral form Download
  • Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form Download
  • AIP guidelines Download
  • Easy read information on your rights as an informal patient Download

Community Mental Health Support

Get Warrington Talking aims to help change the way people think and act about mental health in their communities.

Using local campaigns, events, activities and the knowledge and experience of Get Warrington Talking Champions, we work to challenge stigma and discrimination around mental health and to help end negative attitudes and behaviours.

For more information please visit our Get Warrington Talking page.

Mental Health Engagement

We believe people with a lived experience are the experts. Your views and experiences make a difference to the way mental health services are commissioned and delivered.