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To think it is too hard to get someone sectioned

(86 Posts)
fratricidalwoman Thu 14-Dec-17 16:15:58

It seems that there is a very low threshold for capacity and even if this is not passed help isn’t always forthcoming. Or am I missing something?

fantasmasgoria1 Thu 14-Dec-17 16:19:41

Post is a little unclear to me anyway! Who do you want sectioned and why?

MeadowHay Thu 14-Dec-17 16:22:30

I'm not sure if YABU or not because the threshold is so high for a reason - imagine how horrendous it would be if it was the opposite way around and people who still had capacity were being forced into treatment they didn't want or perhaps even didn't need...that would be a bloody scary society.

I do feel your frustration though. We have a relative in our family who family members have really pushed for sectioning on a number of occasions when we were incredibly worried about them and did not believe them to have capacity but this has never been successful. They have been left to seriously harm themselves on many occasions. It is really frustrating and stressful. flowers

thecatfromjapan Thu 14-Dec-17 16:22:49

MH services are very, very underfunded. I don't know about sectioning specifically - there are all sorts of (important) legal ramifications there. However, I do know from personal experience that it is incredibly hard to get help for people with MH difficulties.

What's going on with you?

lolaflores Thu 14-Dec-17 16:22:58

It is meant to be hard because the situation can be abused by unscrupulous types. There are not enough beds. There are not enough resources.
I am bi polar. I have been in an A&E following a suicide attempt and got a quick chat with a psyche nurse and was sent along my way...
I see a psychiatrist when there is one.
This is mental health service.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Thu 14-Dec-17 16:23:28

If you find it, can you let me know? I think it varies from area to area depending on the level of facilities and support available but I feel your pain.
Don't get me wrong, it shouldn't be "easy" to get someone sectioned, but I was begging them to help with my ex-husband when he was suicidal and we only got help after he ended up in hospital with a failing liver. The line that was always trotted out to me was that they "need to present a threat to themselves or others" and despite the police being called numerous times (and me begging the local authorities and GP for help) even abortive suicide attempts and threats of violence against me and the people around us didn't get us anywhere.

hatgirl Thu 14-Dec-17 16:24:36

No.

It absolutely shouldn’t be ‘easy’ to get someone detained involuntarily under the mental health act unless there is good reason. If there is good reason then there is a process in place for that to happen.

That process doesn’t change the fact that ‘sectioning’ someone doesn’t then magically make a suitable hospital bed appear for them to be treated in.

fratricidalwoman Thu 14-Dec-17 16:25:53

Well, this is it! It should not be easy, but sometimes it’s absolutely obvious that someone lacks capacity.

fratricidalwoman Thu 14-Dec-17 16:26:18

Yeah and the process isn’t flawed at all ... hmm

MeadowHay Thu 14-Dec-17 16:27:36

The line that was always trotted out to me was that they "need to present a threat to themselves or others" and despite the police being called numerous times (and me begging the local authorities and GP for help) even abortive suicide attempts and threats of violence against me and the people around us didn't get us anywhere.

I understand any threat needs to be sufficiently imminent too, and I totally understand why. But yeah we've been in similar situations with above relative. It's so bad on occasion that I can't imagine how anyone can ever be sectioned...yet people are.

ReturnOfTheMackYesItIs Thu 14-Dec-17 16:27:49

Capacity isn't a global issue. You can have capacity to make some decisions but not others. And there are many other criteria that need to be met if someone is to be detained under the mental health act.

RyanStartedTheFire Thu 14-Dec-17 16:27:51

I'm on the fence here. I know our trust does not have enough MH inpatient beds and patients that should be taken inpatient are often left as day patients as there's just not enough beds. sad

Doyouthinktheysaurus Thu 14-Dec-17 16:30:11

The Mental Health Act has a high threshold because you are depriving someone of their liberty and can subsequently force treatment upon them!

The process of getting someone assessed under the MHA should not be as difficult as it sometimes is but beyond that, we need a high threshold.

BeyondAssignation Thu 14-Dec-17 16:31:21

In an ideal world it might be easier to get immediate mh support for a crisis.

But then in an ideal world people wouldn't abuse it, and there would be enough beds.

So I'll sit firmly on this fence.

hatgirl Thu 14-Dec-17 16:31:56

You can be very mentally unwell but still have mental capacity in many aspects of your life.

Equally you can lack capacity according to the Mental Capacity Act but in no shape or form meet the criteria of the mental health act.

The two are separate albeit interlinked and a lack of capacity is no reason on its own to detain someone under the mental health act.

Nyx1 Thu 14-Dec-17 16:33:06

um...I think YABU

It's an extreme measure to inflict on someone.

if you have an individual case that's not being taken seriously, that's not a reason to think the whole system is flawed.

allthgoodusernamesaretaken Thu 14-Dec-17 16:37:47

Capacity and mental health are different issues

fratricidalwoman Thu 14-Dec-17 16:39:38

I do think the system is flawed when someone clearly delusional (which is putting it diplomatically) is not offered any treatment at all, yes.

kmc1111 Thu 14-Dec-17 16:41:19

I agree.

I had a friend who was suicidal. MH unit all but said they'd have to actually attempt before they could be sectioned. Well, they did, in exactly the way they'd said they would, and they were successful.

Another friend who was let out of the MH ward 3 days after being admitted, in a worse state than when they were sectioned, who within hours of release suicided, again exactly as they said they would.

I don't think the system knows what to do with people who are a threat to themselves, but who aren't also visibly completely and totally out of their mind. A lot of people who pose a massive threat to themselves are functioning just fine in many other ways.

Tobuyornot99 Thu 14-Dec-17 16:42:41

Getting sectioned has HUGE ramifications on a person's life, for example they may never be granted a visa to certain countries, would have to declare it on insurance forms etc, I think YABU to this knot should be "easier to get someone sectioned".
There should definitely be more funding available to mental health services, but that's a completely different issue.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Thu 14-Dec-17 16:42:54

if you have an individual case that's not being taken seriously, that's not a reason to think the whole system is flawed.

I'll go out on a limb and say that I think the whole system of mental health care in this country is deeply flawed.

lolaflores Thu 14-Dec-17 16:45:30

Someone who is utterly drunk has a limited capacity but otherwise mentally well...is that a way of putting it?
I worked with drug users who were very much a threat to themselves and plenty others around them but because they were mostly under the influence, we found it very hard to get them even seen by the CMHT never mind sectioned.
Very hard

fratricidalwoman Thu 14-Dec-17 16:46:06

So do I, hodge

And <sigh> in fairness once in a psychiatric ward it is hardly a cure, I know.

But what else can I do?! Not much!

Tobuyornot99 Thu 14-Dec-17 16:52:02

Well what is the issue? Hard to say what you can do without knowing what the problem is.

TheHodgeoftheHedge Thu 14-Dec-17 16:52:45

big hugs @fratricidalwoman

I feel your pain and frustration, I really do. And I don't have any answers other than try and stay strong, try to continue banging on doors and take care of yourself as well.

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