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New Mental Health Powers


Friday, November 14th, 2008 New Mental Health Powers

From (03 11 08) as reported by Mental Health Alliance (MHA) new powers in the Mental Health Act allow for compulsory community treatment Orders, from today.

However they are to be treated with the greatest respect and sensitivity. Notwithstanding, with reference to Alison Cobb who states “Mental health professionals now have significant new powers over people who have been discharged from hospital care through the new system of supervised community treatment”.

More specifically, the dignity of the patient is of paramount importance and should be valued from the alliance point of view. Fundamentally these new laws will facilitate patients being treated at home as opposed to hospitalisation.

Sounds all good on paper, not so, with reference to Ian Johnston, Chief Executive, British Association Of Social Workers argues, “The impact of treatment being compulsorily imposed at a time when someone is maybe feeling disorientated and powerless can have a catastrophic impact on their confidence and self esteem and access to independent advice at such times is absolutely essential.”

Simon Lawton-Smith echo’s the same opinion when he says “We need better local services, not more compulsion. The benefits of these new powers are not proven. Sadly, their introduction has been driven by concerns about the threat some people with mental health problems may pose to members of the public if they become unwell. However, the general risk to the public is grossly over exaggerated.”

Sophie Corlett of MIND also expresses her concerns when she suggests “This is a historic day for mental health in this country where we will see significant changes to the way that people with mental health problems are treated. For the first time compulsory treatment will be extended into the community. We have strong concerns about how these new powers will be used and how many people will be affected”.

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