Independent Mental Health Advocacy

Sheffield Advocacy Hub provides the Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) service for Sheffield.

Advocacy has been available to support patients in many mental health services for many years, but from 1 April 2009 under provisions introduced by the Mental Health Act 2007, qualifying patients in England have a legal right to access to help from an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA). IMHAs are an important  safeguard that can help and support patients to understand and exercise their legal rights.

What is the role of the IMHA?

The IMHA can help you to obtain information and understand:

  • Your rights under the Mental Health Act.
  • The rights which other people (e.g. nearest relatives) have.
  • Any medical treatment you are receiving or might be given.
  • The reasons for that treatment or proposed treatment.

An IMHA can also help you with:

  • Making a complaint.
  • Accessing other support and services.