Advocacy is an important part of supported decision-making. Mental health advocates support patients under the Mental Health Act 2014 to make or participate in decisions about their assessment, treatment and recovery, and to understand and exercise their rights.
Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) may no longer be attending mental health units due to COVID-19 so consumers may need more support to access advocacy services.
People subject to or at risk of being placed on a compulsory treatment order can still:
- call IMHA's intake line on 1300 947 820 during business hours
- email email@example.com
- call 1800 959 353 to hear a recording of their rights (24 hours)
- use IMHA's self-help tool and speak up for their views and preference with mental health staff.
IMHA's self-help tool helps people learn their rights and find solutions to some of the most common issues in the mental health system. It also creates a personalised self-advocacy plan at the end.
Other IMHA self-advocacy resources, including videos and fact sheets can be found under each of the sub-headings here.
IMHA have also recently created a poster that lists useful services for consumers and families using hospital based mental health services in Vic, such as:
- Office of the Public Advocate
- Victoria Legal Aid
- Mental Health Legal Centre
- Second Psychiatric Opinion Service
- Mental Health Complaints Commissioner
- Mental Health Tribunal