Who we support

We support a wide range of people in a variety of settings:


We want our advocacy to be available to as many people as possible but our services have certain limits which mean that we can’t work with everyone who might want or need an advocate. These limits are determined either by law or by the requirements of the people who commission the service.

The only cases in which we would refuse access to a service from ASC are where an individual did not meet the qualifying criteria set out below, or in extreme cases, where they posed a serious risk to the safety of any of our staff.

At times of high demand some of our services may have a Waiting List

If you are unsure which service is the right one for you, you can ring us on 029 2054 0444 and we will be happy to help.

Qualifying Patients for Independent Mental Health Advocacy in Wales

Anyone in Wales, regardless of age, who meets the following criteria is entitled to access the support of an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA).

  • Detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act (except sections 135 & 136)
  • Subject to a Community Treatment Order or Guardianship
  • A Conditionally Discharged Restricted Patient
  • Being considered for ECT or neurosurgery
  • An informal in-patient in any hospital or registered establishment, being treated or
    assessed for a Mental Health Condition (even if you are in hospital for another reason)

All Health Boards in Wales provide an IMHA service for qualifying patients in their area.

ASC provides the IMHA service for Cardiff & the Vale, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg and Anuerin Bevan.

To find out who provides the IMHA service in the other Health Board areas of Wales, go to our Links page.


Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)

An Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) must be instructed and consulted for people (age 16+) who lack capacity and who have no-one else to support them (other than paid staff), whenever:

  • An NHS body is proposing to provide serious medical treatment
  • An NHS body or local authority is proposing to arrange accommodation (or a change of accommodation, in hospital for longer than 28 days or a care home for more than 8 weeks

An IMCA may be instructed to support someone who lacks capacity to make decisions concerning:

  • Care reviews, where no one else is available to be consulted
  • Adult protection cases, whether or not family, friends and others are involved

For individuals to whom Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards apply, an IMCA must be instructed:

  • When an Urgent Authorisation has been made and a Standard Authorisation applied for
  • When an unauthorised deprivation of liberty is being checked
  • When there is a gap in the appointment of a Relative Patients Representative
  • Where the person does not have a paid ‘professional’ Relevant Persons Representative and the relevant person, their representative or the supervisory body feel that an IMCA needs to be instructed to support the Relevant Persons Representative role.

All Health Boards in Wales provide an IMHA service for qualifying patients in their area.

ASC provides this service in South East Wales.


Relevant Persons Representative

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards are a provision of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They are required to ensure that decisions to deprive vulnerable people of their liberty are made following properly defined processes.

Any person for whom a standard deprivation of liberty authorisation has been given must be appointed with a Relevant Persons Representative.


Community Advocacy from ASC

IN ABMU and Cardiff & Vale (any age) areas this service is available to people who are:

  • Receiving Secondary Mental Health services, e.g. being managed by a CMHT, receiving treatment from a psychologist/ psychiatrist.
  • Former service users, from within the last 3 years, who wish to be reassessed by mental health services for a service by exercising their rights under Part 3 of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010
  • Psychiatric inpatients requiring advocacy around housing/ benefits/ domestic arrangements as long as this work does not conflict with the statutory IMHA service that operates in the area.



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