Many mental health patients lack understanding of legislation which affects them
The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland has published reports showing there is a lack of clarity and understanding amongst service users - and their families and carers - about legislation which directly affects them.
Both reports are about parts of the mental health system which are there to support and protect people with mental illness or learning disability who may need compulsory treatment.
Yet often those individuals and their families have not been given enough clear information about what this means.
One issue that is consistent to both reports is the fact that service users and their families and friends desperately need better information
Colin McKay, chief executive of the Mental Welfare Commission, said: “The creation of the role of named persons was designed to allow families and carers to be more involved when an individual has to be treated under the Mental Health Act.
“The recorded matters system allows the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland to put pressure on services to provide appropriate care.
“These are both positive parts of Scotland’s mental health legislation. Today’s reports look at how they are operating in practice, and highlight areas for improvement. One issue that is consistent to both reports is the fact that service users and their families and friends desperately need better information.”
The Scottish Parliament is currently considering changes to the Mental Health Act and these reports will help in ensuring the revised act works effectively.