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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.


Persons who qualify for the IMHA Service are:

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

• 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

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