You might have found it difficult to get what you want from the NHS or social services. Advocates can help you to express your concerns, get information and explore options for moving forward. This section explains more about what advocates do. And how they can help you and how you can find one near you.
- There are different types of advocates depending on what you need.
- Advocates can help you understand your rights and get services.
- They can talk to people on your behalf or help you to speak for yourself.
- Advocates are independent of the NHS and social services.
- Advocates are usually free of charge.
- If you are in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983, you can get an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA).
- If you cannot make decisions for yourself, an Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) can sometimes help.
- You might like help with being involved in decisions to do with your care and support provided by the local authority. You may be able to get an independent advocate.
- If you would like to make a complaint about the NHS, an NHS Complaints Advocacy Service can help.
This section covers:
- How can an advocate help?
- What kinds of advocacy are there?
- How can I find an advocate?
- How can I complain about an advocate?
These pages are created by Rethink Mental Illness' Advice and Information Service in accordance with the Information Standard. Last reviewed in March 2017. Next review March 2020.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays