Our Independent Mental Health Advocacy

From 1 April 2018, we are providing Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs) to support people who are detained (‘sectioned’) at Prospect Park Hospital in Reading, Berkshire. IMHAs also support people under community treatment orders or guardianship.

IMHAs help people understand why they have been detained or put under restrictions, why they are getting certain treatment or medication, and what their legal rights are under the Mental Health Act (1983) as well as helping them have their say about their care.

Our service is free, independent and confidential. Our advocates work for the Reading Voice Advocacy Hub run by the local charity Healthwatch Reading, and not the NHS or social services.

The council chose Reading Voice to take over the IMHA service as part of a move to have the same organisation providing most types of statutory advocacy locally.

Who is eligible for an IMHA?
What type of support can our advocates offer?
Can relatives or friends of the patient get help from an IMHA?
What training and standards do our advocates follow?
How do I request an IMHA from your service?
Can people still get support from the same advocate they had from Seap before 1 April 2018?

Useful information

Your rights under the Mental Health Act
Making complaints about misuse of the Mental Health Act
Government Review of the Mental Health Act