IMHA: Independent Mental Health Advocacy

IMHAs help patients to access information and understand their rights under the Mental Health Act. This is so the patient can understand any medical treatment they are receiving or might receive and the reasons for that treatment. The IMHA also supports patients to exercise their rights, which can include representing or speaking on their behalf.

IMHAs sometimes support patients in a range of other ways to ensure they are involved in decisions that are made about their care and treatment e.g. care planning process, mental health review tribunals, aftercare, accessing other support services and raising concerns about their experience/care.

Hospital staff have a duty to ensure patients understand that help is available to them from an IMHA and how they can get that help.

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