Recommended Reading: Independent Mental Health Advocacy – An Independent Evaluation

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Authors: Chris Maylea, Susan Alvarez-Vasquez, Matthew Dale, Nicholas Hill, Brendan Johnson, Jennifer Martin, Stuart Thomas, Penelope Weller

Year: 2018

Event: 2018 TheMHS Conference

Subject: Recommended Reading: Independent Mental Health Advocacy - An Independent Evaluation

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

ISBN: 978-0-9945702-3-9


Background: Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) is a non-legal representational form of advocacy run by Victorian Legal Aid (VLA) that promotes the rights of consumers subject to or at risk of compulsory treatment. This paper details findings of an evaluation of IMHA conducted by RMIT’s Social and Global Studies Centre.

Methods: The evaluation was co-produced with consumers. A mix-method approach was employed with a combination of qualitative interviews and focus group discussion with key stakeholders and survey-based data.

Results: Three emergent themes were identified: stakeholders value IMHA’s advocacy; stakeholders have a low awareness of advocacy; and, stake holders do not understand IMHA.

Conclusion: To improve the uptake and penetration of IMHA several recommendations are identified: IMHA should be given statutory powers; IMHA needs to be adequately resourced; better internal and sector level data is required; and more work is needed to raise awareness of IMHA.

Maylea, C, Alvarez-Vasquez, S, Dale, M, Hill, N, Johnson, B, Martin, J, Thomas, S, Weller, P, "Independent Mental Health Advocacy - An Independent Evaluation" (2018), Hear the Whisper, Not the Roar Contemporary TheMHS in Mental Health Services, Adelaide Conference Proceedings 2018, TheMHS Conference, Adelaide, Australia 

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