Mental Health and Mental Capacity Advocacy

BSL Support

The Mental Health and Mental Capacity Advocacy service in Newham is provided by VoiceAbility. Please contact them to make a referral.

Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHA)

An Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHA) is a specialist mental health advocate. The Mental Health Act requires local authorities to provide access to an IMHA when a customer has been detained in hospital for assessment and treatment.

Who is entitled to an IMHA?

People will qualify for an IMHA if they are:

  • Detained under the Mental Health Act for assessment and treatment. (This does not include people detained on emergency short term sections, or detained in a place of safety)
  • Conditionally discharged restricted patients
  • On Supervised Community Treatment Orders or Guardianship Orders
  • Informal / voluntary patients who are discussing the possibility of serious treatment (e.g. Neurosurgery) for a `mental disorder' (or if the person is under 18 years of age).

What does a IMHA do?

An IMHA can can support people to:

  • Understand and assert their rights under the Mental Health Act 2005
  • Know about and understand any conditions or restrictions that might apply to them
  • Understand different medical treatment options and the legal authority that the hospital has to carry them out
  • Appeal against being detained in hospital for assessment or treatment.

Independent Mental Capacity Advocates

An Independant Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) is a group of specialist advocates who provide safeguards for adults when they lack mental capacity to make important decisions.

Please read our page on IMCAs for more information.