Report reveals advocacy is vital in mental healthPublished on Tuesday 26 June 2012 08:24
The study, funded by the Department of Health, looked at the quality of Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) services used by people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act.
Charles Walker, chairman of the All Parliamentary Group for Mental Health, said: “Representation and advocacy is a critical piece of the mental health jigsaw and I welcome this report and having the chance to explore the issue further in the weeks and months ahead.”
Karen Newbigging, principal lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire, who led the research, said: “We have found that when people get access to these advocacy services they really appreciate them, but there are specific problems for access for black and minority ethnic communities and older people. Some of these challenges reflect the way services have developed.
“One of our recommendations is that all people detained under the Mental Health Act should be automatically referred to IMHA services with the option of opting out.
“This may overcome the problems of access for particular groups.”
The report presenting the findings from this first large scale study on IMHA provision in England has been launched at the House of Commons with Charles Walker, the chairman of the All Parliamentary Group for Mental Health.
Credit: Lancashire Evening Post.