Independent Mental Health Advocacy is now available

Independent Mental Health Advocacy is now available

Monday, 31 August 2015

There is now more support for people receiving compulsory mental health treatment. Independent Mental Health Advocacy will begin delivering services from Monday 31 August 2015.

The new service is free and independent from hospitals and mental health services. It will assist people who are receiving compulsory treatment by giving them information and support to act on their rights.

Manager Independent Mental Health Advocacy Helen Makregiorgos said: ‘Even if you are subject to compulsory treatment, you still have the right to be involved in all decisions about your assessment, treatment and recovery.

‘But speaking up isn’t always easy to do, especially on your own, because being ordered into compulsory treatment is often a lonely and distressing experience.

‘Friends, family and your treating team often have views about what’s best for you and these can be different from your own. Being heard and letting others know what you want can be hard in this situation.

‘That’s where the support of an independent advocate can make a difference. Our advocates are on your side, and will listen to what you want.

‘We can support you to understand your rights and options, and work with you so you can have your say.’

Ms Makregiorgos said people subject to compulsory treatment can call Independent Mental Health Advocacy on 1300 947 820 between Mondays and Fridays, 9.30 am 4.30 pm or by email contact@imha.vic.gov.au.

Over the next few weeks, advocates will also begin providing services in public hospitals, and community mental health support settings.

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