An advocate is someone who can both listen to you and speak for you in times of need. An advocate might help you access information you need or go with you to meetings or interviews, in a supportive role. You may want your advocate to write letters on your behalf, or speak for you in situations where you don’t feel able to speak for yourself.

Advocacy is a process of supporting and enabling people to:

  • voice their views and concerns
  • access information and services
  • defend and promote your rights and responsibilities
  • explore choice and options

Friends, family and mental health professionals can all be supportive, helpful and advocate for those that use our services. However this can be difficult at times and the role can be very conflicting.

Independent advocates are provided free of charge by a number of different organisations independent from the NHS and Local Authorities. 

Advocacy Services

NYAS (National Youth Advocacy Services)
Giving a voice to children, young people and vulnerable adults
Tel: 0300 330 3131

Best Life Independent Advocacy
(Mental Health, Learning Disabilities, Physical Health, NHS Complaints, Independent Mental health Capacity Advocacy)
Tel: 03003 038037

IMHA (Independent Mental Health Advocate)

IMHA is a free service available to all patients detained under the Mental Health Act (excluding those under holding sections 4, 5, 135 or 136), patients on guardianship and patients subject to Community Treatment Orders (CTO). IMHA advocates are specially trained to work with those who are detained to  help and support them to understand and exercise their legal rights. In Cumbria, the IMHA service is provided by Your Voice.

Your Voice
27 Spencer Street
Tel: 0300 012 0103