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The New Mental Health Act: An Easy Read Guide


15 Words used in this guide

Advance statement: when you write down how you would like to be treated if you become ill in the future.

Appeal: means you ask the court or the tribunal to change their decision.

Compulsory treatment order: means you have treatment even if you do not want it

Emergency detention certificate: you can be kept in hospital and given treatment for no more than Time Logo 3 days.

Guardian: someone appointed by the court to make decisions for you if you are unable to decide for yourself.

Legal aid: means that you can get help to pay for a solicitor if you cannot afford it. A solicitor should tell you how to apply for legal aid.

Independent advocate: someone who helps you say what you think about your treatment. They are called 'independent' because they are not tied to other services. Your doctor, hospital or social work department should help you find an independent advocate.

Mental disorder: is the word used in the law to describe someone who has:

  • a mental illness
  • a learning disability
  • a personality disorder.

Mental health officer: a specially trained social worker who helps people who have a mental disorder. He/she should tell you about your rights and make sure you get the care you need.

Mental Health Tribunal: the organisation that decides about the compulsory treatment of people with mental disorder.

Mental Welfare Commission: the organisation that looks after those who need help because of a mental disorder. They make sure all treatment follows the law. You can speak to them at any time if you are unhappy about your care and treatment.

Named person: someone you choose to look out for you if you have to have treatment. They help to make decisions about your care and treatment.

Primary carer: the carer who gives you all or most of the care and support.

Short-term detention certificate: this means you can be kept in hospital and given compulsory treatment for up to Time Logo 28 days.

Voluntary patient: this is someone who agrees to have treatment for their mental disorder.

Welfare attorney: someone you choose to decide about your care and treatment if you become ill and cannot decide for yourself.

Witness: someone who checks and signs your advance statement.