We are committed to ensuring the engagement, promotion and provision of advocacy to all our service users.

Our vision is of a society that promotes and protects good mental health for all and treats people with experience of mental distress fairly, positively and with respect.

What are Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs)?

The purpose of IMHAs is to help you to participate in decisions about your care and treatment, and to make you aware of your rights and how to exercise them. To be eligible to receive the help of an IMHA, you have to be a 'qualifying patient'.

Qualifying patients are those who are:

  • Detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act
  • Being considered for a Section 17 leave, or Section 117 after care
  • Subject to a Guardianship Order under the Mental Health Act
  • Subject to a Supervised Community Treatment Order in the community
  • Discussing with their doctor the possibility of psychosurgery (any surgical operation on the brain tissue)
  • Discussing the possibility of serious treatments such as neurosurgery
  • Between 16 and 18 years old and discussing with a doctor the possibility of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)

You have a legal right to be informed of your entitlement to an IMHA, both verbally and in writing. The person responsible will depend on the situation at the time, for example it's the hospital manager's duty when you are initially detained.


If you want to make a referral to the advocacy service please contact the organisation who provides the service in your area (see below). We have an open referral system so you can be referred by mental health professionals, family or you can self refer.

Advocacy principles

Our advocacy services are governed by a clear set of principles:

  • independence - We are independent from the hospital and from social services
  • user led - we are instructed by our service users and work on the issues that are important to them and only act with their consent
  • empowerment - our ultimate goal is to enable those using our services to develop towards self-advocacy
  • confidentiality - Our services are confidential
  • free access - advocacy is a free service and must not discriminate on financial grounds

Areas covered and contact details

Bury (Rochdale and District Mind)
Tel: 01706 752344
Email:  advocacyrochdale@rochdalemind.org.uk
Website:  www.rochdalemind.org.uk
Available to all inpatients and those subject to the CPA in the community

Rochdale (Together Advocacy)
Tel: 01706 645830
Email:  rochdaleadvocacy@together-uk.org
Website: www.together-uk.org/projects/advocacy-hub-rochdale/

Tameside (Cloverleaf)
Tel: 0161 2070767
Website: www.cloverleaf-advocacy.co.uk/offices/tameside

Oldham (Cloverleaf)
Tel: 0161 207 0767
Email: careact@cloverelaf-advocacy.co.uk
Website: www.cloverleaf-advocacy.co.uk/offices/oldham

Stockport Advocacy
Tel: 0161 480 8979
Email:  imha@stockportadvocacy.co.uk
Website: www.stockportadvocacy.co.uk