Mental Health Related Legislation

A summary of mental health related legislation is provided to help inform services users, carers, public service workers and the general public about their rights. A list of related legislation is provided on the left handside column.

Independent Advocacy

An advocate is a person who enables a service user to express their views regarding their care and treatment by being a voice for them and encouraging them to speak out for themselves. From October 2005, every person with a mental disorder has a right of access to independent advocacy.

"Independent advocacy" means being supported by a person or project who do not offer other services which could cause a conflict of interest. Anyone who has no support available to help produce an advanced statement can also approach an advocacy project for assistance. There are a number of independent advocacy providers in Lanarkshire. Some projects provide advocacy in certain areas such as North or South Lanarkshire. Other projects specialise in working with defined groups of people such as those with a mental health problem or people of a certain age.

To find out what advocacy services are available in Lanarkshire visit the service directory.

Mental Health Tribunal.

From October 2005 a new Mental Health Tribunal replaces the Sheriff Court as the forum for hearing cases under the new Act. The Tribunal will be involved in considering care plans, deciding on compulsory treatment orders and carrying out reviews. It is vital that service users and carers feel able to challenge compulsory treatment orders if they want to. It is hoped that Tribunals will be much less intimidating than the Sheriff Court and will encourage people to participate in proceedings.

The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland have their national head quarters in South Lanarkshire at the following address:

First Floor, Bothwell House,
Hamilton Business Park,
Caird Park,
Hamilton ML3.0QA
Freephone 0800 345 70 60 for Service Users, Carers & Public members
01698 390000 for Professionals
01698 390049 for Tribunal members
Or e-mail
Mental Health Officer Services

A Mental Health Officer (MHO) is a specially trained social worker who has the training, education, experience and skills to work with people with a mental disorder. MHO's work for the local authorities who have legal duties under the Mental Health (Care & Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. Leaflets are available on this site (below) providing more information about MHO's. Please note that services will differ between local authorities and it is recommended that you contact the relevant local authoirty for more detailed information.

For more information:

A Guide to the Role of MHO
MHO Service Standards

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