Independent Mental Health Advocacy Services are provided across Surrey and NE Hampshire for anyone with a mental health problem, whether you are an inpatient or living in the community.

An advocate is someone who can support you to make informed decisions and have your views heard. This can include making sure you have the information you need, raising concerns on your behalf and representing your views, where necessary.

If you are sectioned under the Mental Health Act, you can use an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) to make sure you are supported in having your views heard. IMHAs are able to;

  • visit and interview you in private
  • visit and interview anyone who is concerned about their medical treatment
  • ask for production of, and inspect any records relating to, your detention or treatment in any hospital or registered establishment
  • ask for the production of any social services authority records which relate to you.

If you are not sure whether you are entitled to an IMHA, your nurse or care co-ordinator should be able to advise you.

Our Patient Advice & Liaison Service can refer you to local advocacy services or you can contact them directly:

If you live in Surrey

Healthwatch Surrey, in partnership with Surrey Independent Living Council, provides a free, and independent health complaints advocacy service. They work to ensure people can represent their own interests as far as possible. You can get in touch with them to find out more on:

Tel: 01483 310 500 (10am-4:30pm Mon-Fri, excluding bank holidays)
SMS/Text: 07704 265 377

All other advocacy services, including Care Act Advocacy, Independent Mental Health Advocacy, Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy and Preventative Advocacy are provided by a partnership called Advocacy in Surrey which is made up of the Surrey Disabled People's Partnership and Matrix. You can get in touch with them to find out more on:

Tel: 0800 335 7330
SMS/Text: 07561 392 818

If you live in NE Hampshire

Healthwatch Hampshire provide advocacy services in Hampshire
Tel: 01962 440262