My relative is in hospital. Can they have an advocate?

They will have a legal right to advocacy support if they’re detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act; or if they don’t have the ‘capacity’ to make important decisions, meaning they are protected under the Mental Capacity Act. They might also be able to work with a community advocate if they need support relating to decisions about their care and treatment, and they don’t have a family member or friend to help.


You want your relative to be clear about their rights and have a say in decisions about their treatment and care, then an advocate can help. An advocate can help them look at their options and then express their views, wishes and what’s important to them. Everyone has the right to be heard and be in control of their own life. Our advocates work in a wide range of personal circumstances.

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It's possible that your friend or relative doesn't meet the criteria for an Independent Mental Health Advocate. However, our community advocates may still be able to help them as they support people who would find it difficult to advocate for themselves. For example, where people have difficulty understanding, holding, using or weighing up information, and communicating their views, wishes and feelings.

More about community advocacy

The role of an advocate

An advocate can stand by you, and stand up for you, when important decisions are being made about your care, treatment and the way you live your life. They can help you understand your rights and options, and support you when expressing your views and wishes to others.

Read more about the role of an advocate

Self-help resources

Get support for yourself, a family member or someone you care for.

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