David’s Story

What was the person’s situation before working with Advocacy Focus?

David was 16 when he was sectioned under S3 of the Mental Health Act. As there were no beds available on a young person’s mental health ward at the time, David was admitted to a general hospital on the children’s ward.

What did you do to help the person?

During this time, it was identified that David had not had the support of an IMHA (Independent Mental Health Advocate) which he was legally entitled to whilst being on a Section 3 of the Mental Health Act. Although the advocate provided information to David in regards to the section, it was essential that an IMHA was provided to David to support him to exercise his rights under the Mental Health Act, and also to provide information about Community Treatment Orders as well as Section 117 after care.

The advocate raised this with Commissioning Manager, Social Care & Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) on many occasions over several months. The advocate raised the issues experienced in regard to IMHA support internally at Advocacy Focus and we were able to identify the IMHA advocacy provider for David, and a referral was made. This provider stated that they only supported adults over 18, but the Mental Health Act does not state any age requirement to be entitled to an IMHA. The advocate supported discussions with the provider, until the referral was accepted.

The advocate signposted David’s family and provided them with literature in regard to the Mental Health Act (Section 3), the role of the nearest relative and agencies that they could speak to seek other support. 

What was the outcome?

The advocate ensured that the appropriate referrals were made for David whilst he was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. The advocate continued to voice David’s views, wishes, and feelings to the wider MDT in regard to his treatment plan and discharge plans.

Why was advocacy support so effective?

Because of the advocate continuing to raise the issue, an IMHA referral was made. The Commissioning Manager commented that they would look at the lessons to be learnt from the situation and were now more aware of the legal right to be offered an IMHA.

David had his voice, wishes, and feelings heard throughout the process and the advocate showed the importance of the young people having someone who is independent and acting on their behalf solely.

Share This Page

Other News

Back to Top