An Advocate's Story
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Having a mental health problem, or experiencing mental distress, can mean that your opinions and ideas are not taken seriously, or that you are not offered the opportunities and choices you would like.
An advocate can:
An advocate will not:
If you or your loved one are subject to The Mental Health Act, lack the capacity to make decisions or need support to attend important proceedings in Portsmouth, there are different types of Advocacy available to you.
Below will give you an overview of the Advocacy we provide and your eligibility. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
Our Advocacy service is proud to hold the Advocacy Quality Performance Mark (QPM), awarded to organisations who demonstrate excellent services in line with QPM standards.
An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) is an advocate appointed to act on your behalf if you lack capacity to make certain changes and decisions, like consenting to serious medical treatment or moving to long-term accommodation in hospital or a care home.
An IMCA will meet you in your care home, hospital or other place to:
How to receive IMCA support
You will be allocated an IMCA once referred to our service by your Decision-maker if you currently reside within a PO1 to PO6 postcode, meet the criteria above and do not have a close family member or a person who cares for you to support you. Decision-makers can find our downloadable referral form on this page.
If you have been detained under Section 2 or 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983, have been conditionally discharged from Section 2 or 3, or are subject to a Guardianship Order or on a Supervised Community Treatment Order, you have the legal right to see an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA).
An IMHA can help you understand:
How to receive IMHA support
If you or a loved one meet the above criteria, are over the age of 16 and live within a PO1 to PO6 postcode, a referral can be made by your hospital, social worker, care co-ordinator or by self referral. Please select, fill out and return the corresponding form.
Care Act Advocacy can help those who are facing proceedings that may result in changes and decisions being made about their care by Portsmouth City Council. This might be accessing Adult Services, a Needs Assessment, Carers Assessment, Care Planning, Review of Care Plan, a Child's Needs Assessment or Safeguarding enquiry or review.
They are appointed when you do not have a loved one to help support you and experience substantial difficulty during the proceedings, like understanding or retaining information, weighing up the information or communicating their wishes and views.
How to receive Care Act Advocacy support
If you or a loved one meet the above criteria, are over the age of 16 and live within a PO1 to PO6 postcode, a referral can be made by a social worker or self referral. Please select, fill out and return the corresponding form.
We also provide advocacy for vulnerable parents who require additional support to present their views either in person or via a report at Child Protection Case Conferences.
The advocate usually meets with the parent prior to the conference, to go through reports and prepare any points they wish to communicate. After the conference, the advocate meets the parent to help ensure they understand the outcomes, next steps and pass over any notes made during the proceedings.
In accordance with our consent and confidentiality and Safeguarding policies:
How to receive Parent Advocacy for Case Conferences
If you or a loved one are a parent attending or preparing a report for a Case Conference and live within a PO1 to PO6 postcode, a referral can be made by a social worker.
Social workers can fill out and return the corresponding form. Please note:
Monday: 9am - 5pm
Tuesday: 9am - 5pm
Wednesday: 9am - 5pm
Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 4.30pm
Portsmouth Advocacy Service's address is to be used for post only:
Solent Mind Portsmouth Advocacy Service
John Pounds Centre
We are currently offering a telephone support service. We can also arrange contact through Skype, FaceTime or Teams if required.
All our advocates are available to speak to, so please don't hesitate to call with any queries. If your issue is urgent or you are making contact with us to discuss a safeguarding case or serious medical treatment, please call our office to discuss with a Manager.