Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA)

From the 1st April 2009 new legislation came into effect under amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983 (the Act) introduced by the Mental Health Act 2007. This placed a duty on the responsible individual and/or body to provide certain qualifying patients with information regarding the availability of their local IMHA Service. The IMHA Service in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent is provided by Asist. Please note that the duty is to provide information and patients may choose not to be referred to the IMHA Service.

Go to Professional Referral Page to download a referral form.


Persons who qualify for the IMHA Service are:

• Being detained under a Section of the MHA* or are on leave of absence from hospital
• Conditionally discharged and restricted patients
• Subject to Guardianship
• On Supervised Community Treatment
• Being considered for a section 57 treatment
• Under 18 and being considered for a Section 58A treatment like electro-convulsive therapy

*This does not include emergency and short term detentions such as those made under Sections 4, 5(2), 5(4), 135 or 136


Under  mental health section and residing within Stoke-on-Trent area


Asist provides specialist independent advocacy support focused on one-to-one, issue based advocacy services for people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and/or mental health issues.


Advocacy is about enabling people who have difficulty speaking out to speak up and make their own, informed, independent choices about decisions that affect their lives.


Asist provides the Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy service (IMCA) and the Independent Mental Health Act Advocacy service (IMHA) in Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent. Asist also offers advocacy to people in Stoke on Trent through a number of specialist projects including Care Act, BME, NHS Complaints and Parents Advocacy.

Asist is nationally recognised for developing, writing and promoting the Watching Brief guidance which outlines the core principles that underpin all Non-Instructed Advocacy support services across the UK.

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T: 01782 845584


© 2020 ASIST

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Asist Advocacy Services is a registered charity number: 1048075
Asist is a company registered in England - company number: 3068125
Registered office: Asist, Winton House, Stoke Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2RW

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