Independent Mental Health Advocacy

We’re listening – what users of our services have told us

Wednesday 6 September 2017 2:03am

We’re listening – what users of our services have told us

As a new service (we’ve just celebrated our second birthday) Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) has been keen to learn more about the experience of people who’ve been in contact with us.

The IMHA client survey was developed in 2016 and between January and July 2017 we have received 29 completed surveys. The survey is available onlineExternal Link and a hard copy is provided to all consumers at the completion of our support.

Key findings

The majority of consumers told us they strongly agreed that:

  • their IMHA advocate had listened to them, treated them with respect and supported them to communicate their views and preferences
  • their IMHA advocate effectively communicated with the treating team about their views and preferences, provided helpful information and linked them with helpful services
  • they had a greater understanding of their rights and were more confident expressing their views and preferences.

'Generally they were brilliant'

Responses ranged right across the spectrum from ‘strongly agreed’ to ‘strongly disagreed’ in questions related to:

how they viewed their treating teams response to their views and preferences

whether there were positive changes to their treatment

whether they had more control over their treatment and recovery.

'Wonderful service provided, very positive experience with advocate. She couldn’t have been more understanding and a great listener. The service took the time to hear about my other interests and areas for alternative and natural therapies as well as traditional medicines. Thanks again!'

Profile of people who took part

The majority of consumers who took part in the survey were aged 26 to 65. Slightly more women returned the survey than men, two consumers identified as Aboriginal, nineteen consumers identified as Anglo Australian and eight identified another cultural background. Most identified as having a disability and the survey was completed by consumers from both the community and inpatient units.

IMHA Manager Helen Makregiorgos said that the results were very encouraging. ‘It is important to provide consumers with a range of ways to let us know how they have experienced the service and the survey will continue,' she said.

'We also appreciate the generosity of the 29 consumers who took time to complete the survey and tell us what they thought.

‘What we have learnt so far is that IMHA is an important mechanism for consumers to be able to have access to information about their rights, and the support they need to have their views and preferences expressed.

‘We continue to work with mental health services to build capacity to support consumers to be an active participant in their treatment and recovery, where they are provided with what they need to make their own decisions.’

Reviewed 22 July 2021

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