Homepage Publications


We produce a range of publications, for professionals, people with mental ill health and families/carers. You can download them from our website. We have copies of some materials – contact us to enquire.


The use of the Mental Health Act in Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic

29 Jul, 2021 | .pdf, 1.5 MB

We look at detentions under the Mental Health Act between 1 March 2020 and 28 February 2021. We look in detail into how many detentions there were, where and when they took place, and if there are any differences between health boards and also in characteristics of people who were detained. 


The use of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 during Covid-19

17 Dec, 2020 | .pdf, 1.5 MB

A review of detentions during the pandemic and deaths of people subject to the Act (March–August 2020)


Non-compliance with CCTOs

21 Aug, 2020 | .pdf, 907.2 KB

We are regularly asked about what can be done when someone subject to a CCTO is not complying with the requirements of the order, or has become unwell.


Unlawful short term detention and section 291

6 Aug, 2020 | .pdf, 888.1 KB

We heard of a case where an individual was detained under a short-term detention certificate which the Tribunal ruled unlawful. There were discrepancies in the times of examination and granting the certificate.


Can you detain someone who won't talk you?

15 Jun, 2020 | .pdf, 882.7 KB

Ms X was known to have a mental illness and had a history of serious self-harm when unwell. Her relatives contacted the mental health services with serious concern about her.


Urgent Medical Treatment under the Mental Health Act (s243, T4)

15 Jun, 2020 | .pdf, 881.7 KB

A reminder that the responsible medical officer must report urgent treatment under section 243 to the Commission within seven days.


Justice Committee Secure Care for Children and Young People in Scotland: Submission from the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland

6 Sep, 2019 | .pdf, 150.5 KB


Nurse's power to detain

30 Jul, 2019 | .pdf, 180.9 KB

Our advice for nurses on using section 299 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.


Guidance for mental health professionals on changes to the Mental Health Act implemented on 30 June 2017

2 Aug, 2017 | .pdf, 2.1 MB

Our guidance on the changes to the Mental Health Act implemented on 30 June 2017 and how this will affect mental health professionals.


Capacity, Detention, Supported Decision Making and Mental Ill Health

31 May, 2017 | .pdf, 198 KB

Findings from our consultations with service users and carer groups, looking at issues around supported decision making and impaired judgement.


Seeking Your Views Consultation: Capacity, Detention, Supported Decision Making and Mental Ill Health

28 Apr, 2017 | .pdf, 295.3 KB

The following paper reflects the voice, experience and opinions that people with lived experience and carers, as individuals and as groups, provided for the Commission’s current work on supported decision making. 


The Mental Health Act in General Hospitals

25 Aug, 2016 | .pdf, 440.2 KB

Our guide to the use of The Mental Health Act in general hospitals.


Specified Persons Guide

18 Jul, 2016 | .pdf, 93.8 KB

This shorter, understandable guide on specified persons is for professionals, patients and carers.


Scotland's use of emergency detention without the consent of mental health officers

30 Jun, 2016 | .pdf, 591.5 KB

This report by the Commission - produced for the Scottish Government - examines Scotland's high levels of emergency mental health detention without the consent of specialist social workers.


Preparation of Care Plans for People subject to Compulsory Care and Treatment

25 Sep, 2015 | .pdf, 123.7 KB

This document is primarily for responsible medical officers (RMOs)


Specified Persons

13 Feb, 2015 | .pdf, 150.8 KB

Guidance on principles and best practice in implementing specified persons regulations under the Mental Health (Care & Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 in relation to restrictions around patients' correspondence or use of telephones, and relating to safety and security.


Death in detention monitoring

13 Mar, 2014 | .pdf, 597.7 KB

We were asked how many people died while subject to compulsory treatment. here is our answer and our analysis of the causes of death.


Emergency detention certificates revoked by approved medical practitioners

6 May, 2013 | .pdf, 699.4 KB

An analysis of emergency detention certificates that were revoked by approved medical practitioners, compiled by Mira Thomas and Karthik Bommu.


When parents are detained

6 Mar, 2013 | .pdf, 1 MB

A report into awareness of section 278 of the Mental Health Act, which places a duty on services to consider the effect of compulsory treatment on parental relations.


Immediate Redetention after failed application to tribunal

7 Nov, 2012 | .pdf, 162.8 KB

We were asked to look into cases where individuals had been detained in hospital after a failed application to the tribunal.


Immediate re-detention

31 Oct, 2012 | .pdf, 210.3 KB

A report into the incidence of immediate re-detentions under short term detention certificates, particularly where a compulsory treatment order was refused by the Tribunal.


Emergency detention

31 Oct, 2012 | .pdf, 429.2 KB

A report into the use of detention certificates for people who are already in hospital.


Short Term Detentions

1 Jan, 2010 | .pdf, 123.7 KB

Monitoring report from visits to one in five people receiving short-term compulsory care and treatment in Scotland.


Social Circumstances Reports

1 Jan, 2009 | .pdf, 76.1 KB

Good practice guidance on the preparation of Social Circumstances Reports for mental health officers and managers.