Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)

If you are detained under the Mental Health Act you are legally entitled to an independent advocate.

An advocate can support you to:

  • Be fully involved in decisions being made about you, your treatment or your care.
  • Get information about your rights and aftercare options.
  • Prepare for a Mental Health Tribunal and understand decisions made.
  • Raise any concerns that you have.

What is an IMHA?

If you are being detained under a Mental Health Section, you are legally entitled to help and support from an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA).*

Advocates can support you with understanding and getting information about your rights under the Act, the parts of the Act that apply to you, and the medical treatments you may be given.

*Exclusions apply; call the Total Voice team to find out more.

We will:

  • Listen carefully to what you tell us about your views and feelings
  • Support you to speak up or speak up on your behalf if needed
  • Make sure you are fully involved in decisions being made about you
  • We will close your case when the work is finished.

An IMHA can support you with:

  • Being fully involved in your care planning
  • Your access to Mental Health Review Tribunals, preparing for them and understanding decisions made
  • Your access to other support or services
  • Discussing appropriate aftercare
  • How to raise concerns about your experience/care
  • Exercising your rights.

The IMHA service is

  • Free
  • Independent
  • Confidential

How do I find an IMHA?

Certain staff have a duty to make sure you understand that help is available to you from IMHA services and how you can get that help. You can speak to professionals like nurses and social workers and they can make a referral on your behalf.

You can contact us in the following ways:

  • Telephone: 01785 336387
  • Email:
  • Post: Total Voice Staffordshire, The Northfield Centre, Magnolia Avenue, Stafford ST16 3DU

IMHA information leaflet (PDF)