Advocacy in mental health
Explains what advocacy is and how it can help you. Gives information on different types of advocacy, including statutory advocates, what sort of situations an advocate can help you with, and how to find an advocate.
What are my legal rights to an advocate?
In some situations you might be legally entitled to get the support of an advocate. This is called 'statutory advocacy'. There are three types of statutory advocates in England and Wales. These are:
- Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs). These are specially trained advocates who can support certain patients under the Mental Health Act 1983. The law regarding IMHAs is different in England and Wales. For more information on whether you're entitled to an IMHA, and how to access one, see our pages on:
- Independent Mental Capacity Advocates (IMCAs). These are specially trained advocates who can support certain people under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. For more information on whether you're entitled to an IMCA, and how to access one, see our page on IMCAs.
- Social care advocates. These can support certain people under the Care Act 2014 (in England) and the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act (in Wales). For more information on whether you're entitled to a social care advocate, see our page on social care advocates.
If you're not entitled to any advocacy by law, there are still lots of ways you can access and get support from an advocate in the community. See our page on types of advocacy for more information.
The UK Government is changing the Mental Health Act.
This information was published in March 2018.
This page is currently under review. All content was accurate when published.
References and bibliography available on request.
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