Independent mental health advocates (IMHA)

Page last updated: 5 April 2023

Independent mental health advocates (IMHAs) can give you support and help you find out about your rights and how to use them.

If you are detained under the Mental Health Act or on a community treatment order (CTO), you have a legal right to support from an IMHA.

An IMHA will have a good knowledge of the Mental Health Act and will be able to help you in a number of ways, including:

  • supporting you in meetings
  • helping you get relevant information
  • looking at alternative options for you
  • helping you challenge decisions

How do I get support from an IMHA?

There are several different services providing independent mental health advocacy across England.

The hospital where you are receiving treatment should provide you with information about how to contact your nearest independent mental health advocacy service.

A member of your care team will also be able to give you more information.

More information about IMHAs