Migrants Mental Capacity Advocacy Project

Adults with severe mental health issues receive little support navigating the immigration and social welfare system, though they may lack the mental capacity to do so. As a result, many are unable to regularise their status and face the full brunt of the hostile environment.

In October 2017, we started the Migrants Mental Capacity Advocacy (MMCA) Project to fill this gap. The MMCA Project is the first and only project of its kind in the UK. We provide tailored and holistic direct support for complex mental health while at the same time push for systemic changes through organising, capacity building, policy and strategic litigation.

 

mmcap

Case Study

Rachel was trafficked to the UK in 2002 to do housework without pay. Rachel suffers from delusions and strongly believes that she is a British citizen. She is easily confused, and often anxious and depressed. Around 2012, Rachel had a mental health breakdown and was hospitalised. Rachel’s employers then kicked her out, leaving her homeless.

James is a dependent of an EEA national who has lived in the UK for 5 years. In 2015, he made an application for permanent residency, which was refused. The matter went to appeal in the immigration tribunal.

How we work

We work with both appeal cases (i.e. where a litigation friend might be needed) and pre-appeal cases (i.e. where an application needs to be made and there is no litigation).

Our aim is threefold:

Shaking hands icon

Gather an evidence-base on issues faced by adults who lack mental capacity
both in the immigration and social care system (i.e. accessing welfare benefits,
community care support, healthcare, etc.)

 

Light bulb icon

Provide short-term, practical solutions to these issues for adults who lack mental capacity currently in the system.

Scales icon

Push for changes to be made to provide long term solution to the issues identified through organising, capacity building, policy and strategic litigation.

Each case is discussed by a panel of expert professionals, before we create a bespoke support plan. Our panel includes:

Elizabeth Cleaver

Elizabeth Cleaver

Bio here…

Francesca Valerio

Francesca Valerio

Community Programme Director at Migrants Organise and Qualified Social Worker

Will Whitaker

Will Whitaker

Court of Protection and Mental Health Law Solicitor at Bindmans

Bijan Hoshi

Bijan Hoshi

Public Law Barrister at the Public Law Project

Jennifer Blair

Jennifer Blair

Immigration and Human Rights Barrister at No5 Chambers and Modern Slavery Lead at Migrants Organise

Heike Langbein

Heike Langbein

Immigration and Welfare Adviser

Eleanor Sibley

Eleanor Sibley

Court of Protection Barrister at Field Court Chambers and Legal Project Manager at the AIRE Centre

Basmah Sahib

Basmah Sahib

Bio here…

Dr Johanna Herrod

Dr Johanna Herrod

Consultant Neuropsychiatrist