Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) – who is a nominated support person?

Title: IMHA Who is a nominated support person?

Producer: Independent Mental Health Advocacy

Name of speaker: Muskaan Ahuja and Brendan Johnson (all speech content)

Speech Content:

Who is a nominated support person? Under the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act of 2022, you have the right to a nominated support person. This is someone you officially choose to support you and advocate for what you want, if you receive compulsory assessment or treatment. You can choose anyone you want as long as they agree to it, and you can choose someone at any time, even if you're in hospital.

What will a nominated support person do for me? A nominated support person can advocate for your views and preferences, support you to communicate and make decisions, receive information about you, be consulted about your treatment and support you to exercise your rights. They must express your views and preferences. Hence, it's important you have told the person you nominate what you want and they have agreed that they will let your treating team know these things if asked. It's important that you have conversations with them about your treatment preferences and how you want them to assist you. Your treating team must take all reasonable steps to support them to do their role. They can also represent your views at the Mental Health Tribunal if you want them to.

How should I choose a nominated support person? It's really important that you choose a nominated support person who you trust and that they understand what to say on your behalf when you're unable to speak. Remember, you can choose anyone you want to be your nominated support person as long as they agree to it. You could choose a friend, family member, carer, or any other person that you trust.

Do I need to have a nominated support person? You don't have to have a nominated support person if you don't want one. It's up to you. Some reasons you might choose one, though are - You want support to make decisions. And you want to ensure your ongoing involvement in decisions about your treatment. You want them to be notified about your treatment. You want them to speak up for you if you're not feeling heard. 

How many nominated support persons can I have? You can only have one official nominated support person at a time. The person you choose will remain in their role until you choose someone else, you cancel your current support person, or if they no longer want to do it.

How do I appoint a nominated support person? The nomination needs to be in writing, mention the name and contact details of the person you wish to nominate, be signed and dated by you, include a statement signed by the nominated support person that they agree, and to be witnessed by an adult who can be anyone you choose, including friends, family, or support workers. You can use the nominated support person form available at health.vic. How will my treating team know I have a nominated support person? You should give the form to your Mental Health and Wellbeing Service. They will then put this document in your health record. It's important to keep a copy of the form with you in case you go to a different hospital or service. You can keep a paper copy or a copy on your phone. You can also ask your Mental Health and Wellbeing Service to make copies for you so you can give them to your carer or support people. 

What if I want to cancel my nominated support person? You can do it at any time. To cancel it must be in writing, be signed and dated by you, give the name and contact details of the person you wish to cancel, and be witnessed by an adult. 

Can an advocate help me? Yes. Our advocates can help answer your questions. We can also listen to what you want and talk to you about your options, give you information and support you to act on your rights, work with you so you can have your say and refer you to other services if needed. 

If you would like help to speak up about what you need and want, you can get in contact with IMHA, we're here to help. You can visit our website at You can contact us via email at You can call our phone line on 1300 947 820, seven days a week between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Or you can call and listen to a free audio recording of your rights on 1800 959 353 at any time. You can ask your service, carer, or support person to help you contact us. You can ask us for an interpreter if you need one. For more information about your rights, visit our website at You can also scan this QR code to take you directly to the website.

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