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Mental Health Act

Summary (optional)
The Mental Health Act of 1983 provides special legal provision for those people with a mental disorder who are a danger to themselves or others, and who refuse to accept treatment that they require. This is because they may have little or no insight into their psychiatric condition. There are a number of different sections of the Mental Health Act.
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 Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice for Wales

Voluntary Admission to Hospital
Every effort is made to try to ensure that people in need of hospital treatment are admitted to hospital in the least restrictive way. Should a voluntary admission not be possible then admission using a section under the Mental Health Act may be necessary for some individuals to protect them and sometimes for the safety of others. Most admissions to hospital are voluntary with the full agreement of the individual and their family.
Mental Health Act Sections
Section 2: Section 2 allows compulsory admission for assessment and it can last up to 28 days. Section 3: Section 3 allows compulsory admission for treatment. It can be for up to 6 months, and may be renewed for a further term if necessary. Section 4: Section 4 allows admission in an emergency and lasts up to 72 hours. It may be converted to section 2 if circumstances require. Section 136: Section 136 allows a police officer to convey a person from a public place to a place of safety for assessment if they appear to be suffering from a mental disorder. A place of safety will normally be a hospital or in some circumstances a police station or other location. An order will last for up to 72 hours and allow assessment by a doctor and social worker.
Other Sections
The Mental Health legislation is complex and there are a number of other sections contained within the Act which may directly affect the individual when in hospital or in the community. Please see link below to the Mental Health Act:
Community Treatment Order (CTO)
There is provision within the Mental Health Act for certain patients to be treated in the community rather than detained in hospital. If placed on a CTO then certain conditions will apply and failure to comply may result in a person's admission to hospital.
Guardianship Order
Under section 7 of the Mental Health Act 1983 people who have a mental disorder can be given a guardian to help them, if two doctors and an Approved Mental Health Professional say this is needed. The guardian is someone from your local Social Services Department or someone who has been approved by them.
For some individuals whose life has become a little chaotic, the structure afforded by an order can promote a return to a more stable lifestyle. The order may specify that you may have to:- -live in a particular place -attend for medical treatment, occupational education or training at set places and at set times -allow a doctor, an approved mental health professional; or other named person to see you
The Guardianship Order may last up to six months initially and can be renewed. If an individual wants to stop being under Guardianship, they should first discuss it with their Guardian, Responsible Clinician or Approved Mental Health Professional. The individual can also ask the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales to discharge the Guardianship.
Section 117 and Aftercare
If you have been subject to a Section 3 or some other orders under the Mental Health Act, you will become entitled to Section 117 Aftercare, which places a duty on the local authority and the health board to jointly participate and agree your aftercare with you.
What does it mean for me? You will have regular Section 117 reviews to look at the progress you have made and to determine whether additional help or services may be needed. Any services provided under Section 117 are entirely free of charge.
Nearest Relative
Under the Mental Health Act the law is very definite as to who your nearest relative is and this will be determined should you be detained under the Mental Health Act.
The nearest relative has important rights in helping to oversee your welfare whilst in hospital on a section of the Mental Health Act. If you are in the community and your nearest relative is worried about your mental health they can act to ensure that a proper assessment is undertaken of your condition and the decision as to whether you need admission to hospital. For further information on determining who would be your nearest relative, please consult the Mental Health Act:


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