Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)

Independent Mental Health Advocacy

Bristol Mind provides the Independent Mental Health Act Advocacy (IMHA) service to people detained under the Mental Health Act in Bristol, or those who are subject to its powers under Community Treatment Orders or Guardianship.

An Independent Mental Health Advocate (an IMHA) is someone who is specially trained to work within the framework of the Mental Health Act to meet the needs of patients.  Independent Mental Health Advocacy services do not replace any other advocacy and support services that are available to patients. An IMHA will work alongside these services.

Patients should be informed of their right to access an IMHA.  This is the responsibility of the person who is in charge of their care at the time.

What will an IMHA do for me?

  • An IMHA can help you to find out about and understand:
  • Your rights under the Mental Health Act 1983.
  • The rights which other people, such as your relatives, have in relation to you under the Mental Health Act 1983.
  • The parts of the Mental Health Act 1983 which apply to you.
  • Any conditions or restrictions which apply to you.
  • Any medical treatment that you are receiving or might be given.
  • The reasons and legal authority for providing particular medical treatment (or proposed treatment)
  • The safeguards and other requirements of the Mental Health Act 1983 which apply to your treatment.
  • How you can appeal against your section.


The involvement of an IMHA does not affect your right (or the right of your nearest relative) to seek advice from a lawyer, nor does it affect your entitlement to legal aid.

For referrals please email 

If you wish to donate to Bristol Mind, please send electronic payments to Bristol Mind, Account No: 65050011 & Sort Code: 08-92-99
Please include the word “Donation” and your name or your organisation name as a reference.