Write to us:
VoiceAbility Doncaster Advocacy Services, Rear Of Carcroft Social Club, Chestnut Avenue, Carcroft, Doncaster, DN6 8AG

Call us: 01302 319052

Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)

How does an IMHA from VoiceAbility Doncaster help?

People who are treated under the Mental Health Act now have the right to independent mental health advocacy (IMHA). This applies to hospital patients and those who are on a Supervised Community Treatment. In Doncaster the IMHA service is provided by VoiceAbility Doncaster.

If you are on a section, you can choose whether or not to have the help of an IMHA. If you do decide to work with an IMHA, he or she can only act with your permission.

How can I contact an IMHA?

An IMHA is not a member of the medical or social care team, and plays no part in your treatment and care.

As an independent advocate, your IMHA's first loyalty is to you. These are some of the ways in which an IMHA might help you:

  • By providing information about your treatment - why are you having it, and how long it might last. This could involve looking at your medical or social care records.
  • By finding out whether any conditions or restrictions apply to you, for example if you have section 17 leave or a Supervised Community Treatment Order.
  • By meeting with a mental health professional involved in your care.
  • By supporting you at a ward round or care review.
  • By supporting you at a Mental Health Act Tribunal (you also have the right to legal help from a solicitor).
  • By helping you to make a formal complaint about your treatment.

Your IMHA will not tell you what he or she thinks is right for you, but help you to decide what you want to do. He or she will act only on your instructions, and will support you for as long as it takes for your questions to be answered and your concerns heard.

To request the help of an IMHA, you can contact your local VoiceAbility Doncaster office yourself. Alternatively a member of your care team or your family can contact us on your behalf.

A member of the VoiceAbility Doncaster staff will then contact you within two working days or receiving the call, to arrange to meet you.