Are you looking for carers who have experience with restricted under the mental health act?
Mostly, when people are treated in a mental health facility or a hospital, they are in the facility by choice. There are cases when a person may be detained or 'sectioned' under the Mental Health Act (1983) and treated without their agreement.
What is the Mental Health Act? - An Introduction
The Mental Health Act (1983) is the law that covers the rights and treatment of people with mental health disorders in England and Wales. Updated in 2007, it outlines the rights regarding:
Treatment in the community
Pathways into hospital (criminal or civil)
Hospital assessment and treatment
People who are held or sectioned under the Mental Health Act are considered a danger to themselves or others and need immediate treatment.
If you or someone you care about is detained or sectioned, certain rights are lost, including the right to leave the hospital freely; in this situation, it is essential to know your rights under the Mental Health Act.
The Mental Health Act consists of several sections, each with different rules. The length of stay in the hospital is dictated by which section they are detained under. If you are the 'nearest relative', you may have the legal right to get involved.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is a vital element of our well-being. Good mental health allows us to work productively, cope with everyday stress, realise our capabilities and contribute to our communities.
Mental health affects how we feel, think, and behave. It is inclusive of our social, psychological, and emotional well-being. Our mental health also impacts how we handle stress, make healthy choices, and how we communicate with others.
What happens if you or a loved one is detained under the Mental Health Act
If you or someone you care for is detained under the Mental Health Act, you or they will need to stay under the care of the doctors in the hospital until a tribunal decides otherwise.
Visiting is still allowed in line with the hospital visiting hours.
A patient might refuse visitors; if this is the case, the staff will respect the patient's wishes.
Treatment plans will be put in place and can be discussed at the patient's will.
If you have concerns, you can raise them with the staff on the ward
The accommodation at the hospital should be gender and age-appropriate
How to help someone who has been sectioned under the Mental Health Act
It is common and natural to feel confused or anxious if a family member is sectioned or detained under the Mental Health Act. You want to support your loved one, but they are so unwell they need professional support, it can feel very powerless.
If you are the nearest relative, you have legal rights to information on the section; the care coordinator or ward manager can help you with any questions.
You can support your loved one by letting them know their rights. Here are some things you can do:
Share leaflets found on the ward that might give them further information
Find a mental health advocate (IMHA) - an IMHA can help them understand their situation. They can assist with complaints and explain their rights.
Appeal against the section
Request legal advice from a solicitor
Complain to the CQC (Care Quality Commission) or the Healthcare Inspectorate (Wales)
Look after yourself when you are caring for someone else:
If someone you love has been sectioned, you might find yourself mentally and physically focusing a lot on their needs. You must care for yourself and look after your mental well-being too. Eat and sleep well, talk to people you trust and make sure you have some time just for yourself.
If you are not the nearest relative, there are still things you can do to support your loved one. Here are some ideas:
Ask them what they need: There may be specific tasks that they need support with; your loved one might want someone to talk to, or walk with, or they may want someone to sit with them while they speak to the ward staff.
Show your support: Simply spending time and being present can feel supportive. Ask your loved one how s/he is - show them that you care, and try to understand what they are going through.
Keep an open mind: Listen and try to remain non-judgemental. Avoid phrases like 'pull yourself together, and 'cheer up' don't help.
Express respect and trust: It is imperative that you maintain a trusting relationship with your friend or loved one - help to rebuild their sense of self and self-esteem.
Talk about things other than mental health: Most people don't want to be defined by their mental health problems. Talk about other things with them, their hobbies and interests - talk about things you would usually talk about.
Mental Health Act FAQs
What does 'being sectioned' mean?
The mental Health Act has many sections, and if you or a loved one are being detained, they will tell you which section you are being detained under.
What is section 2 of the mental health act?
You can be detained under section 2 of the Mental Health Act when you have a mental disorder and it is decided that you need to be detained for your safety and the safety of others. The detainment allows professionals to assess and possibly treat you.
Mental Health Disorder - what does it mean?
The term "Mental Health Disorder" is used when describing people who are experiencing:
A personality disorder
A learning disability
A mental illness
If I am sectioned, what rights do I have?
If you are detained in the hospital and sectioned, you have the following rights:
You have the right to an IMHA (independent mental health advocate)
You can request leaflets on the ward that tell you how to get support
You have the right to appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal against your section
You have the right to read your sectioning papers - you should be given a copy of this.
You can request a meeting with the hospital managers
Communicate with a solicitor
Use the telephone
Complain to the CQC or the inspectorate for your area.
When might I be sectioned?
If you or a loved one has raised concerns about your mental health, it may lead to being sectioned.
You should only be sectioned if:
Someone else’s safety or your safety is at risk if you are not treated
You need to be treated or assessed for a mental health problem
If you don’t get the treatment, your health could get worse
If your doctor thinks you require hospital treatment and monitoring.
You will need to be fully assessed by health professionals before you are sectioned to ensure it is necessary.
Can I visit my loved one in the hospital if they are sectioned?
You may visit your loved one as long as they are happy to see you. If a patient refuses to see guests, the hospital staff will respect their wishes.