Assert: IMHA (Independent Mental Health Advocate)Mental Health Resource

Our Assert team provide the free, independent and confidential IMHA service across West Kent. This is a specialist advocacy service provided to those who are detained (“sectioned”) under the Mental Health Act 1983 or subject to certain of its provisions in the community. This service is funded through seAp.

You have a right to an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) if:

  • You have been detained in hospital or you are “liable to be detained” under a section of the Mental Health Act or

  • You are on a CTO (Community Treatment Order), or

  • You are the subject of guardianship, or

  • You have been conditionally discharged.

IMHAs can:

  • Explain how the law applies to you

  • Support you to understand your rights and secure them

  • Support you to have your views heard

  • Support you to participate in the decision making process in relation to your treatment and care.

  • Support you to access information in relation to your treatment and care.

How do I contact an IMHA?

You can refer yourself via Kent Advocacy 0300 34 35 714 or via the Kent Advocacy Website (select the 'IMHA' tab).

You can also ask hospital ward staff or your Care Manager to contact us. 

Assert: Community Advocacy

An advocate can help to make sure your voice is heard by providing advocacy in the community to those with mental ill health across West Kent. They will help you express your views and wishes to professionals to help make decisions about your life. We will work with you confidentially unless you were to tell us something which revealed a risk to life or injury to yourself or others or the commission of a criminal offence. We are obliged to report matters which give rise to issues of adult or child protection.

What does an advocate do?

An advocate may:

  • Help you to express your own views

  • Provide information to help you make decisions

  • Help you to explore options

  • Support you to have your views heard when decisions are to be made about you

An advocate does not:

  • Give advice (including legal advice)

  • Express an opinion

  • Make decisions on someone else’s behalf

How do I contact an Advocate?

You can refer yourself or someone else can refer you if they have your permission, by calling 03003435714 or via the Kent Advocacy Website (Select the 'Community Advocacy' tab).

OR ask hospital ward staff or your Care Manager to contact us. 

“Thank you for coming to my meeting. I get so tongue tied. Without you speaking things would not be said that need to be said.”