The Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) service continues to work remotely using whatever means possible to provide a service to their clients. This includes communicating with them via WhatsApp, text, email, phone etc.
As always, they have been focusing on putting their clients’ rights at the forefront of these efforts; whilst attempting to keep effective communication (which is usually very challenging without any restrictions as acute Mental Health issues impact upon people).
The clients’ statutory right to using an IMHA service has been very difficult to maintain, given the barriers COVID19 presents as the vast majority of work undertaken involves face to face communications and a heavy reliance on service providers abilities to facilitate such communication.
There has been a slightly lower rate of mental health referrals recently, which we constantly question. It is more important than ever that people understand their rights and have a voice during this period and this as previously stated is our fundamental purpose.
Credit must be given to all the IMHA team for their creativity, tenacity and flexibility to meet the needs of their client group in very difficult circumstances.