This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

What is Section 136 of the Mental Health Act?

Question from jb, What is Section 136 of the Mental Health Act?

Answer from AI:

Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 is a provision in UK law that allows police officers to take individuals who appear to be suffering from mental health issues and are in a public place into custody for their own safety or the safety of others. The purpose of this section is to ensure that individuals who may be in need of immediate care or control can be assessed and provided with appropriate treatment.

When is Section 136 Applied?

  • A police officer can apply Section 136 if they believe someone is experiencing a mental health crisis in a public place.
  • The officer must have a reasonable concern that the person needs immediate care or control.
  • The individual can then be taken to a place of safety, which could be a hospital or other healthcare facility, for assessment.

Duration and Assessment Under Section 136

  1. Once detained, an assessment must be carried out by a doctor and an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP).
  2. The initial detention under Section 136 can last up to 24 hours, which can be extended for another 12 hours if necessary for the assessment to be completed.

When Does Section 136 Become Unlawful Detention?

Section 136 can become unlawful detention if:

  • The initial conditions for applying Section 136 were not met, meaning there was no reasonable cause to believe the person required immediate care or control.
  • The detention exceeds the time limits set out by the Act without proper justification or extension.
  • The person is not taken to a designated place of safety for assessment.
  • Proper procedures and safeguards, such as informing the person of their rights, are not followed.

It is important for police officers to adhere strictly to the guidelines of the Mental Health Act to avoid instances of unlawful detention.

Legal Advice and Further Information

If you believe you or someone else has been unlawfully detained under Section 136, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a solicitor who specializes in mental health law. They can provide personalized guidance and help challenge the detention if necessary.

For more information on the Mental Health Act and Section 136, you can visit the UK Legislation website which provides the full text of the Act.

Remember, this information is not a substitute for professional legal advice. If you are dealing with a situation involving Section 136, consult with a legal professional to understand your rights and the appropriate course of action.

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