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The Mental Health Act 1983 protects individuals that have lost their ability to decide by themselves as well as preventing them from harming themselves or others. The act achieves this by allowing a compulsory section order or enabling them to be detained in mental health units against their will (Sawhney, 2017). The Act protects individuals from forced treatments unless they are suffering from a severe mental illness that a specialist has recommended. However, the act ensures that very critical procedures are followed when one is detained against their will. The bill helps the government to monitor its mental health crises by offering help to those incapables of helping themselves mentally.
According to (Sawhney, 2017) the leading critics on the Mental Health Act are about human rights violations under the act. While the law aims at forcefully detaining those incapable of making their own decision, at times it seems to violate other laws such as article 5: the right to liberty and security. The article focuses on protecting people from unreasonable detention or imprisonment (Sawhney, 2017). The Mental Act at some grounds may seem to be going against Article 5 or vice versa. For an instant, with the care plan, an individual can get arrested under the Mental Health Act in the care treatment order which can lead to detainment in hospitals. Further, under the Mental Health Act, mental health units have authorized unnecessary detention that goes against article 5: the right to liberty and security. Also, through the act, health professionals have been involved in cases whereby they force clients to make their decisions on their behalf when not in the position to decide by themselves. These professionals apply the Disorder; Diagnosis Risk mental health assessment is often biased because it favours the doctor’s decision over that of the client (Sawhney, 2017).
The Mental Health Act 1983 has undergone several reforms with the most recent review conducted in October 2017. The NHS and the government have tried to adjust some aspects of the law especially with the elevating concerns related to high rates of detention and the overbalanced use of the act among individuals from the minority groups (Gajwani, 2016). Also, the changes are influenced by the issue of the use of force and restrictive interventions in mental health units. The government is in the process of passing The Private Members’ Bill Mental Health Units (use of force) Bill that aims at curbing the use of force (Gajwani, 2016).
Mental health assessment approaches are crucial processes that are performed by different professionals to establish an accurate picture of the patient’s needs. Psychiatric health assessment, whether self- reported or therapist-administered may be conducted at any stage of the counseling process (Kohrt, 2015). To build an accurate diagnosis, they are assessed by health professions and may include a group of a social worker, pharmacist, psychiatrist, or/and a psychologist. According to (Kohrt, 2015), individuals are advised to take notes on their mental health situation which prepares and eases the assessment procedure. Further, it is essential for patients to set their recovery goals at the beginning of the assessment. However, when individuals severely have a mental condition such as depression or stress, they often feel drifted which affects their ability to set achievable goals.
Screening for mental health diagnosis is the first step most mental institutions in the assessment procedure. Testing often involves checklists and questionnaires that help patients familiarize themselves with their mental conditions. A screening test may not diagnose the mental problem, but it is a powerful tool that helps individuals identify and discuss their mental problems (Melton, 2017). Screening tools are provided in some community health centres, clinics, and mental health institutions. When conducting an assessment, several factors must be considered such as the individual’s mental health symptoms and experiences, thoughts, physical health, gender and sexuality, use of drugs, ethnic backgrounds, housing and financial position among others (Melton, 2017). Also, the clients’ past experiences that are closely related to the current situations helps the professionals with the diagnosis. The GP is also keen to identify on whether the mental problems threaten the safety of the patient and those close to him or her. Hence, in situations whereby the client has someone depending on him or her such as a child, the GP notes that the outcomes will also include the safety of those depending on the client.
The assessment must be conducted with the individual's consent and must be included in the decision-making process. Mental health assessment tools include an Integration of observations, interviews on either the client or the client’s family, questionnaires, checklists, rating scales, and standardized tests. A mental health assessment involves the integration of questions and physical examinations as well as other medical tests such as blood test before conclusion are drawn. Most assessments are initialized by the doctor who interviews the patient on their personal history and environs. While interviewing, the doctors are keen to observe the patient’s behavior which contributes to their diagnosis. When it comes to children, the mental health assessment differs with age, with most being assessed through drawing and their views on images. There may be situations where the first assessment fails to make a precise diagnosis which then requires specialist advice. Such conditions are solved by recommending or referring the patient to a mental health specialist such as a psychiatrist who conduct a mental status exam (MSE) that involves careful observation and tests (Sawhney, 2017). Once the healthcare professional formulates the diagnosis, the client is advised on the best care and treatment to undertake.
The Mental Health Act protects individuals from forced treatments unless they are suffering from a severe mental illness that a specialist has recommended. However, The NHS and the government has tried to adjust some aspects of the law especially with the elevating concerns related to high rates of detention and the overbalanced use of the act among individuals from the minority groups. Screening for mental health diagnosis is the first step most mental institutions in the assessment procedure. Testing often involves checklists and questionnaires that help patients familiarize themselves with their mental conditions. The mental health assessment is crucial as it helps determine whether a client will benefit from acquiring a mental health treatment. The assessment procedure allows client and healthcare professionals to work together towards achieving the patient’s mental health goals.
Gajwani, R., Parsons, H., Birchwood, M. and Singh, S.P., 2016. Ethnicity and detention: are Black and, minority ethnic (BME) groups disproportionately detained under the Mental Health Act 2007?. Sociology psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 51(5), pp. 703-711.
Kohrt, B. A., Jordans, M.J., Rai, S., Shrestha, P., Luitel, N.P., Ramaiya, M.K., Singla, D.R. and Patel, V. 2015. Therapist competence in global mental health: development of the ENhancing Assessment of Common Therapeutic factors (ENACT) rating scale. Behavior research and therapy, Volume 69, pp. 11-21.
Melton, G.B., Petrila, J., Poythress, N.G., Slobogin, C., Otto, R.K., Mossman, D. and Condie, L.O 2017. Psychological evaluations for the courts: A handbook for mental health professionals and lawyers. S .l.: Guilford Publications.
Sawhney, l., Zia, A., and Gates, B 2017. Patients with learning disabilities who lack capacity detained under the Mental Health Act in the UK: A case study. British Journal of Learning Disabilities, 45(2), pp. 138-141.
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