Helping Amir - Advocacy Awareness Week
Amir is a 43 year old man who lives in Burnley, he has no history of accessing mental health services. He was detained by the police on a section 136 when he crashed his car into a wall with no other vehicles involved. After being treated for minor injuries he was taken by the police to the mental health acute inpatient ward attached to the hospital.
Amir was given a mental health assessment and agreed to stay in hospital as an informal patient, where he stayed for two days before attempting to leave. Amir was then detained under section 2 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (amended in 2007). This detention lasts for 28 days.
Amir was so distressed by this that he was moved from the main ward to a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit. He was given his rights under the Mental Health Act and as part of this process was advised of his right to an Independent Mental Health Advocate to support him around his detention.
How we helped
One of our Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs) arranged to visit Amir. During the visit the Advocate advised Amir of his rights but he was unable to take these on board. The Advocate rearranged to visit Amir again in two days. During the second visit Amir could not recall the Advocate from the previous visit. He could however recall the events which led to his admission to hospital and expressed that he could not understand why he was there and that he had never had mental health issues before.
The IMHA explained that their role in supporting Amir was to help him access and understand the restrictions of the section, explain what his rights were under the Mental Health Act and help him be heard about what he wanted around his care and treatment.
The Advocate went through all the papers with Amir and explained he had a right to appeal his detention. The Advocate also explained that they could support Amir at meetings.
Amir requested that the Advocate attend and support him during a meeting, our Advocate met with Amir half an hour prior to the meeting to help him prepare some notes. He used the list of questions he had prepared prior to the meeting, which was mainly around medication and discharge.
As a result of this meeting, the psychiatrist felt that Amir no longer needed to be under a section but asked him to stay for a few days as a voluntary patient. Amir agreed to stay for a further two days and also to some visits from the Restart team.
Amir felt as though he had been listened to and that he benefitted greatly from the help of an Independent Advocate.
To find out more about how an Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHAs) can help, click here