The IMHA Service is a new statutory advocacy service, introduced by the Mental Health Act 2007, which aims to empower and safeguard people who are under compulsion under Mental Health legislation.

  • Under the Mental Health Act 2007, the NHS or Local Authority have a responsibility to advise everyone under compulsion that they have the right to an advocate.
  • The IMHA is independent of people involved in the patient’s care.
  • It is the patient’s choice as to whether they want the support of an IMHA.
  • Having the support of an IMHA does not prevent the patient also having legal representation or other advocacy services.
  • The IMHA service is free of charge.
  • The IMHA role involves helping people obtain information and understand:

The provisions of the legislation which they are subject to:

  • The rights which other people have in relation to them under legislation.
  • Any conditions or restrictions placed on them.
  • What medical treatment is being given, is proposed or is being considered.
  • The authority under which the treatment would be given and the requirements that would apply.
  • Their rights under the legislation and supporting people exercise their rights (which may include speaking on their behalf, representation or support accessing legal advice/representation).

Referral form

Further information