mental health act

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  • The Mental Health Act 1983
    • An act of the UK parliament, but only applies to people in England and Wales.
    • Act covers the reception, care and treatment of mentally disordered people, the management of their poverty and other related matters.
    • Divided into 10 parts, each of which is divided into sections numbering 149 in total.
    • In particular, it provides the legislation by which people suffering from a mental disorder can be detained in hospital and have their disorder assessed or treated against their wishes, unofficially known as 'sectioning'.
    • Patients are usually referred by four possible methods:
      • Professional referral: when the patient is referred by a professional (doctor, social worker)
      • Third party referral: when the patient is referred by their closest relative
      • Compulsory referral: when the patient is referred by a professional ~(doctor because they're identified as unable to make a decision for themselves, due to their mental health)
      • Self-referral: when the patient refers himself/herself
    • The process of admission starts with sectioning, followed by treatment. The patient is then discharged. After leaving the hospital thay are given aftercare and supervision.
      • Throughout these processes the patient should be informed of all decisions made about their care.
    • The term 'mental illness' is thought by most psychiatrists to cover schizophrenia, anorexia nervosa, major depression, bipolar disorder and other similar illnesses.
    • When people with mental illnessare in need of treatment or protection, this act ensures they are provided with this service.
    • Mental illness definition under this act: 'any illness or disorder or disability of the mind'.
    • Provides health professionals with the power to make decisions about a person's welfare when that person, suffering from mental disorder, is not able to make decisions regarding their welfare.
    • Tries to strike a balance between maintaining basic civil liberties of the individual with the need to impose interventions in the patient/client's life.
    • To be admitted to sectioning two conditions must be met:
      • The patient must be suffering from a mental disorder.
      • The patient must be a danger to themselves or others or the patient's health is at risk.
        • It would be illegal to section the patient if only ONE of these conditions were met.
          • The patient must be suffering from a mental disorder.


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