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Fact sheet

Legislation, Guidance and Research

There is a vast range of legislation, guidance and research about mental health, mental illness and treatment. As a result, it can often be difficult to assess what resources are relevant to carers, and how they impact on your daily role as a health or social care professional. To help you identify the most relevant elements, a selection of our guidance and useful resources from external organisations is below:

England and Wales

Key Rights of Mental Health Carers (England And Wales) (176 KB)

Mental Health Acts 1983 and 2007

The Mental Health Act 2007 amends the previous 1983 Act, which governs the compulsory treatment of certain people who have a mental disorder.

Guidance on Mental Health Acts 1983 and 2007 (England And Wales) (218 KB)

Nearest Relative concept - DH proposals
Summary of changes to 1983 Code of Practice to 2007 Act
MHA Code of Practice
Service users and carers FAQ (NIMHE)
Mental Health Act 2007: The impact on carers

Mental Capacity Act 2005

The Mental Capacity Act sets out how people who lack capacity now or may do in the future should be treated and their rights protected.

Trust Guidance on Mental Capacity Act 2005 (England and Wales) (216 KB)
Mental Capacity Act Summary (DCA)
A Guide for Advice Workers (DCA)
A Guide for Family, Friends and other Unpaid Carers (DCA)
A Guide for Health and Social Care Workers (DCA) (471 KB)
Mental Capacity Act resources (Office of the Public Guardian)

Scotland

Key Rights of Mental Health Carers (Scotland) (174 KB)

Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Scotland Act 2003

This Act outlines how individuals with a mental disorder are to be treated in community and inpatient settings.

Trust Guidance Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Scotland Act 2003 (229 KB)

MH Act resource website
Guide to the appeals process
Guide to Mental Health Officer role
Rights of carers under new mental health legislation
The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland

Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act provides safeguards and standards for the rights of adults who are assessed to lack capacity to make decisions.

Adults With Incapacity Scotland Act Overview (Scottish Carers Alliance)
General Overview (Scottish Executive)
Guide for Carers (Scottish Executive)

Northern Ireland

The Mental Health (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

This Order outlines how individuals with a mental disorder are to be treated in community and inpatient settings.

Full text of Mental Health (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004
Guide on how to use the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Amendment Order (World Health Organisation)

Research

Useful resources for current research on mental health are below. Research specifically on mental health caring is more sparse, but there are examples within the sites listed.

UK Mental Health Research Network
National Institute of Mental Health – research section

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