Independent Mental Health Advocacy

We want to hear from you about self-advocacy

Tuesday 7 August 2018 3:31am

We want to hear from you about self-advocacy

IMHA is committed to hearing from and acting on the views of people who have a lived experience of the mental health system, in particular compulsory treatment. We do this in our advocacy, as well as when improving our service.

Recently Simon Katterl (Senior Project Worker) has moved from our advocacy team to work on a project focusing on self-advocacy.

Our project

Our Self-Advocacy & Information Project is aiming to co-produce self-advocacy resources. We hope that these resources will help you understand and exercise your rights. You can use these resources on your own, or with an advocate or support person.

To do this we will be holding small focus groups in Melbourne, Geelong, Dandenong, and Bendigo. In each area we will have two focus groups approximately three months apart.

Speaking about the project, Simon said ‘we are looking to build on the work of a previous report we published with the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council, as well as an external review’.

‘Both reports have highlighted that consumers want information and tools that will help them understand, but also exercise and enforce their rights. That’s why we are looking to consult with consumers across Victoria – we want to make these resources accessible, meaningful and effective.’

‘I have my own lived experience of mental health issues, and I know how important it is to feel heard and have your views honoured. That’s why we’re committed to meaningful engagement with consumers to make this project a success.’

Simon is asking people who have been part of the compulsory mental health system to participate in these focus groups.

Simon is especially interested in people who may not have the information to know who to turn to for support, such as people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, or people who have been subject to community treatment orders.

Get involved

Dates for the upcoming sessions:

  • Melbourne – 23 August 2018
  • Geelong – 30 August 2018
  • Dandenong – 4 September 2018
  • Bendigo – 13 September 2018.

If you are interested in taking part or learning more about the consultations, please contact IMHA on (03) 9093 3701 or email

Consumers will be paid for their time and experience, but there are limited places available so please contact soon.

Reviewed 23 July 2021

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