Mental Health Terminologies

The Act - The Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003.

Advice and Assistance - the type of legal aid normally available to persons seeking a solicitor’s help at a tribunal.

Advance statement - This is a written statement, drawn up and signed when the person is well, which sets out how s/he would prefer to be treated (or not treated) if s/he were to become ill in the future. It must be witnessed and dated. The Tribunal and any medical practitioner treating the person must have regard to an advance statement. If the wishes set out in an advance statement have not been followed the medical practitioner must send to the Mental Welfare Commission (and others) a written record giving the reasons.

Convenor - the person who chairs the tribunal

CPN - Community Psychiatric Nurse.

Court of Session - main Scottish court to which someone could appeal against a decision by a Sheriff principal

CTO – Compulsory Treatment Order.  These are orders granted by the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland which can allow compulsory treatment and detention.

EDC - an emergency detention certificate

Hearing - a date fixed for people to appear at the tribunal to decide on CTO’s and other issues.

Independent advocate - Under the Act anyone with a mental disorder has the right to access independent advocacy services. An independent advocate is able to give support and help to enable a person to express their own views about their care and treatment.

Mental disorder - This is a term used in the Act to include people who have a mental illness including dementia, learning disability or personality disorder.

Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland - The Mental Welfare Commission is an independent organisation. Its role is to protect the welfare of people who are vulnerable through mental disorder.

MHO - Mental Health Officer; a social worker who deals specially with people with mental disorder. Mental Health Officers have particular duties under the Act.

Named person - This is someone who will look after the person's interests if he or she has to be treated under the Act.

RMO - Responsible Medical Officer; the medical practitioner, usually a consultant psychiatrist, who is responsible for the person's care and treatment.

Sheriff Principal -the main local Sheriff to whom an appeal can be taken against a Tribunal decision.

STDC – short term detention certificate.

Tribunal - The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland was set up by the Act to make decisions about the care and treatment of people with mental disorder.

Welfare Attorney – someone you can appoint when you are well – to make decisions about your care and welfare should you loose legal capacity.

Welfare Guardian – someone appointed by the court under the Adults With Incapacity Act to make decisions about the care and welfare of someone who cannot make such decisions for themselves.

Written record – this is a statement prepared either by a medical practitioner or the tribunal giving reasons for not following an advance statement.  This written statement must be sent to the Mental Welfare Commission.

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