Why you might need an advocate

Why you might need an advocate

Being diagnosed with a mental illness and subjected to compulsory treatment can be very difficult, lonely and distressing.

You may lose many basic freedoms: where to live, the ability to move around and how often you can see your family. You may feel powerless and find it is hard to get others to take your views and preferences seriously and to make yourself heard and understood.

You still have the right to be involved in all decisions about your assessment, treatment and recovery. However sometimes understanding and acting on those rights on your own can be hard.

Your friends, family and your treating team may have views on what is best for you. Speaking up about what you feel you want and need to recover can be challenging if their views are different to your own.

The support of an advocate who is ‘on your side’ can assist you to speak up about your views, wishes, preferences and concerns.

We are independent from hospitals and mental health services and can work with you so you can have your say.

Call us

Call us on 1300 947 820 between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm Monday to Friday or email contact@imha.vic.gov.au.

If you are in hospital and can’t access a phone, ask a staff member or support person to get in touch with us on your behalf.