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Mental health officers

A mental health officer is a social worker who has special training and experience in working with people who have a mental illness, learning disability, dementia or related condition.

When might I have a mental health officer?

If you become ill and lose the ability to make your own decisions, you can be given compulsory care and treatment. This only happens if it is necessary and if there is a risk to you or others.

What does my mental health officer do?

Your mental health officer:

  • tells you about your rights.
  • writes reports and care plans.
  • agrees that you need to be examined by a doctor.
  • asks for you to have a compulsory treatment order if you need this. This means you have treatment even if you do not want it.

Can I change my mental health officer?

Yes. If you cannot work with your mental health officer, your social work department helps to sort out the problem or chooses a new mental health officer for you.

You may want to change your mental health officer because you do not agree with their decisions. A new mental health officer may make the same decisions about your care and treatment.

For advice on mental health and incapacity law contact our Advice Line.

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