HOMELESS PERSON "SECTIONED"

Recent radio and newspaper reports inform us that at least one homeless person has been "sectioned" under the Mental Health Act 2001, during the current episode of extreme weather.

Under Section 4 of the Mental Health Act 2001, in making a decision under the Act concerning the care or treatment of a person the BEST INTEREST of the person shall be the principal consideration. Due regard must be given to the interests of other persons who may be at risk of serious harm if the decision is not made.

To fall within the parameters of the act a person must be suffering from a MENTAL DISORDER.

Section 3 of the Act defines a mental disorder as meaning mental illness, severe dementia or significant intellectual disability where because of the illness, disability or dementia there is a serious likelihood of the person concerned causing immediate and serious harm to himself or herself or to other persons OR

because of the severity of the illness, disability or dementia, the judgement of the person concerned is so impaired that failure to admit the person to an approved centre would be likely to lead to a serious deterioration in his or her condition or would prevent the administration of appropriate treatment that could be given only by such admission and the reception, detention and treatment of the person concerned in an approved centre would be likely to benefit or alleviate the condition of that person to a material extent.

In other words, a person may be admitted to a psychiatric unit and deprived of his or her liberty if he or she is deemed to be a danger to himself, herself or others.

Alternatively, a person may be sectioned if because of his or her illness his or her judgment is so impaired that if he or she wasn't detained in a psychiatric unit either his or her condition would seriously deteriorate or he or she could only get appropriate treatment by being admitted to a psychiatric unit AND admitting this person to a psychiatric unit would alleviate the condition of that person to a material extent.

or if his or her judgment is so impaired that if he or she was notd admitted to the irse or she needs treatment


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