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Independent Mental Health Advocacy: How we can help

At People First, we have a team of advocates who are ready to help you if you feel that you need some advocacy support.

Advocacy is about empowerment - providing individuals with the right information at the right time to enable them to speak up for themselves. IMHAs help individuals understand their options, express their preferences, and access necessary services. They do not dictate decisions but rather help to make informed choices.

We work independently from all health and social care services, standing 'shoulder to shoulder' with people to help you 'speak up' when you need support.

Independent Mental Health Advocacy: 

The Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) service plays a crucial role in ensuring individuals understand their rights under the Mental Health Act and have a voice in decisions about their care and treatment. If you live in Cumberland, Westmorland and Furness, Redcar, Cleveland, Hartlepool, and Middlesbrough, our advocates can assist you in making sure you are involved in all parts of the decision-making when it comes to your care and support.

This could include: 

  • Understand your rights and choices under the Mental Health Act
  •  Understand why certain decisions have been made
  •  Understand parts of the Mental Health Act which applies to you
  •  Understand any conditions or restrictions you are subject to
  • Be involved in decisions that affect you
  • Be fully involved in your care planning and reviews

Eligibility for IMHA support extends to various situations, including detention under a Mental Health Act section, conditional discharge, guardianship, community treatment orders, and considerations for specific treatments under Section 57 or 58A.

IMHAs can help individuals understand their rights, and treatment plans, and review processes, ensuring their involvement in care planning and decision-making. They have the right to access relevant facilities, meet privately with individuals, accompany them to meetings, and discuss their cases with healthcare professionals with consent.

Individuals in Teesside can refer themselves for IMHA support by calling 0300 303 8037 or completing an online referral form.

For those in Cumbria, N-Compass serves as the service provider, reachable at 0300 303 0622 or [email protected]

For further information on Independent Mental Health Advocacy or to read our comprehensive guide, visit our Independent Mental Health Advocacy Page here

Read our Guide on Independent Mental Health Advocacy here

Independent Mental Health Advocacy is free, confidential and independent from health and care services.

If you think you are eligible for an Independent Mental Health Advocacy, please reach out to your social worker or local Adult Social Care office.

If you have tried to contact your social worker or local office and have had difficulty, please contact us directly and we can help you.