Our first year
We recently celebrated an important milestone. It’s now just over a year since we officially opened our doors.
The Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) was set up to support people who are receiving compulsory mental health treatment to have as much say as possible about their assessment, treatment and recovery. The service is now well established and providing services in 34 mental health outposts throughout Victoria.
IMHA Manager Helen Makregiorgos said that the most humbling experience for the team of 14 advocates has been receiving unsolicited feedback from consumers who have accessed IMHA.
‘At a time when people subject to compulsory treatment feel distressed, they have reached out to tell us what our support has meant,’ Ms Makregiorgos said.
‘Overwhelmingly this feedback has been about the significance of having someone on their side, a person who has listened to them and taken time to provide them with information in a way they have found useful.’
Ms Makregiorgos said that IMHA had continued to have a strong focus on hearing directly from people with lived experience. 'Every step of the way – design, implementation and continued development of the service – has been informed by consumer experience.
'A consumer advocacy group has 14 members with experience of living with mental health challenges, and their perspectives are bringing a breadth of experience and expertise to the way services are being delivered.'
A snapshot of our first year
Profiles of people supported by Independent Mental Health Advocacy
Download our first-year report
Reviewed 23 July 2021