The Commission aims to protect and promote
the human rights of people with mental illness, learning
disability, dementia and related conditions. We are also committed
to providing support to friends and family who are involved in
Looking after a family member or friend in these situations can
have an enormous impact on a carer's life too, and it is important
that they know where to go for help and advice.
A carer may be providing support in many different ways. This
could include emotional or practical support, but it can also mean
that a carer has certain legal rights and
These include becoming a named person, if the person you care for is detained in hospital or 'sectioned' and
nominates you for this role.
Your relative or friend may wish to appoint you as their power of attorney, giving you powers to help
them with certain decisions, if they lose the capacity to make
these decisions themselves.
You may also be able to apply to become a welfare guardian, if the person you are caring
for is unable to make their own decisions. Information on all of
these situations is provided below.
It is important to acknowledge that having a caring role can be
very difficult. It can place huge physical and emotional stress on
people in these situations.
As a relative or friend in a caring role, it is important to
have support for yourself, and local carer organisations can
There are links to some of these groups below and they may help
you find one in your area.
Support in Mind
Our advice line is a free phone number (0800 389 6809) carers
can call. We can give advice on rights to do with mental health and
incapacity law, and care and treatment. We cannot, however, advise
on specific legal advice, comment on whether a diagnosis or
medication is correct, or take complaints about services.