Welcome to IMHA Society

IMHA Society are here to help people with severe mental health conditions participate in decisions about their mental health care and treatment. Participating in decisions about your care and treatment can be beneficial to mental health recovery and having a say in your care and treatment is a right protected in law.

IMHA (pronounced "im-ha) stands for independent mental health advocacy or a person who provides this type of advocacy, called an independent mental health advocate.

An IMHA can help you to understand your rights, your choices and help you to have a stronger voice about anything to do with your care, treatment and well-being if you are in hospital or if you are receiving treatment or care in the community under the Mental Health Act 1983 (2007).

Having a severe mental health condition (such as bipolar, schizophrenia, severe depression or any other mental health condition) should not be a barrier to effective participation in care and treatment and we want to ensure people are empowered to have a real say and influence in decisions affecting them.

We aim to empower people in their mental health care and treatment by

  • providing people who are detained or receiving treatment voluntarily under the Mental Health Act and their carers with information on how to access local IMHA support and signposting to other useful resources
  • working with and supporting people who deliver Independent Mental Health Advocacy to improve access and delivery of their services
  • campaigning for national improvement in Independent Mental Health Advocacy services

IMHA Society works for and with people with severe mental health conditions, their carers, independent mental health advocacy workers and services, health and social care workers and government to improve independent advocacy in mental health care so that everyone receiving or delivering advocacy achieves better outcomes.

IMHAs are independent from public services - including mental health, physical health and social care services . This is to ensure that you receive impartial advice that is not influenced by those directly providing treatment or care.

An IMHA should be made available to you free of charge if you are detained under certain parts of the Mental Health Act or if you are eligible for Care Act advocacy when you are receiving mental health care and treatment.

Click here for more information about what an IMHA can do or click here for help to find an IMHA.