Context, Values and Good Practice
Independent mental health advocacy is a crucial means of ensuring rights and entitlements for people sectioned under the Mental Health Act. This book takes an appreciative but critical view of independent mental health advocacy, locating the recent introduction of Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs) within a broader historical, social and policy context, and anticipates future developments. The text includes the voices of service users throughout, both as authors and research participants. Drawing on their research, the authors provide a historical overview of mental health advocacy, independent mental health advocacy in relation to the law, the role and responsibilities of IMHAs, essential values, knowledge and skills required of advocates, relationships with service providers, commissioning, measuring advocacy outcomes, and how IMHA services can be made accessible and appropriate to diverse groups. This will be essential reading for advocates, social work professionals, academic staff and trainers and will provide mental health professionals with an understanding of, and critical reflection on, the IMHA role. It will also be of particular general interest to survivors and mental health service users, and their families and carers.