Importance Of Law In Mental Health Nursing

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IS THE LAW IMPORTANT IN MENTAL HEALTH NURSING?
Mental health Act is the main legislation that governs Irish Mental health system.The reason for the Mental Health Act 2001 first, to protect involuntarily admitted and detained patient in approved centres. Second, it sets up systems whereby the quality of care and treatment in our mental health administrations can be observed, investigated and directed by the Mental Health Commission and the Inspector of Mental Health Services. Over the past ten years or so, almost the same changes have happened in mental health hospitals. Nurses have the power to detain individuals under Section 5 (4) of the Mental Health Act (MHA), to decide levels of observation and patients ' leave of absence under Section
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Mental Health Act requires an application from an approved mental health professional (AMHP) or the patient’s closest family member founded on the medical recommendations before a detention of clients can be processed (Mental Health Act,1983,).
The World Health Report (2001) strongly encourages mental health policies and programmes to promote and encourage equality when providing care and services to the client. All clients are entitled to privacy, individual autonomy, physical integrity, right to information and participation in their care plan, freedom to practice their religion, assembly and movement. The rules are based on evidence-based practice and valued- based approaches linked to ethical considerations and individual right (World Health Report,2001).
Hulatt review article says mental health legislation is distinguished in its scope and has an effect on the UK population; in 2012 and 2013, the law protecting England and Wales was responsible for the detention of 45,000 people in England alone. It also covers treatment sometimes against the client will and could negatively affect many civil liberties and human rights. The Mental Health Act provides admission, care, treatment and aftercare of persons suffering from a mental disorder under conditions of detention and on an informal basis
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Mental health act and mental health capacity have assigned independent advocates to help and support mentally disordered or incapacitated individuals in a range of situations, where they may have no one to do this apart from the nurses who are looking after them (Hale,2010).
Nurses are accustomed to serving as patient advocates, by putting the patient’s care needs and safety first. Working to protect patient’s rights, shaping health policies, and taking part in many other activities. Nurses may also advocate for their colleagues and the professional association to which they belong.
Advocacy is defined by the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary as the “act or process of advocating or supporting a cause or proposal” while an advocate is defined as “a person who argues for or supports a cause or policy (Huber,2015). Advocacy serves to promote the voice of service users, represent their interests and help them when making a decision. Given the context of increasing numbers of people detained under the Mental Health Act and heightened awareness of the potential for neglect and abuse in human services, statutory advocacy is an important safeguard supporting human rights and democratising the social relationships of

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