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- Author or Editor: Neil Caton x
Written by authors with direct lived experience, this chapter brings a perspective of being a Nearest Relative – a statutory role under the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA) (amended 2007) that carries specific roles and responsibilities – and of being assessed and detained under the MHA. Experiences are compared and contrasted, and clear themes are apparent. Different types of power are at play in the way that relatives, carers and service users are communicated with. Like actors playing a role, there are clear expectations around behaviours, opportunities, rights and responsibilities. It is particularly important to look at the ways in which mental health professionals and service users are able to understand how to navigate and cross the bridge between them, and this may in particular be the case where one of these people is experiencing psychosis. The chapter authors use their experiences to suggest ways in which all parties might be better able to use an open approach where honesty and integrity is respected and meaningful. Boundaries between formal and informal roles, and the professional’s and service user’s positions are addressed.