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Voluntary/Involuntary commitment

Z

Zoe87

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Jun 23, 2009
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A friend and I were discussing the "procedures" around commitment to a mental/psych ward yesterday and a few questions came up. Lets say that a person suffers from some kind of mental illness that requires therapy and medication and wants to be commited to an institution or psychiatric ward; is it possible to sign off your rights to be discharged and leave that decision in the hands of the doctors? I'm thinking of someone who realizes s/he needs help (not to an extend that an involuntary commitment will be considered), but feels like there's a great possibility that s/he won't go through with the treatment and leave.

I apologize if this is an unlikely scenario, but I haven't been able to get this off my mind.

I hope someone can ignore my lack of knowledge and provide me with some answers :) Thanks
 
ms_P

ms_P

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If one is of legal age, what's the problem? Forgive me if I don't understand.

I've commited myself, and have had a judge commit me "for my own good". The treatment is the same for both, here where I am anyway.

Please elaborate if you can.
 
R

ramboghettouk

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i understand, you want to be commited and not have to worry that you'll change your mind, voluntary sectioning is already like that once in your assumed to be in need of the treatment and if you try to leave you'll become involuntary, though nowadays there is a shortage of beds so people tend to be sent home to make beds free, called hotbedding i've heard

I would like an arrangement with the bank only to see that direct debits are paid if i got overdrawn say due to illness, something on my mind, i guess the mental health freeedom lot would be against banks doing that

Taking away rights for your own good, i admit i feel like that at times
 
S

shelly33

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Jun 22, 2009
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Hi Zoe,

From my own experiences, I'm sure that's not possible in the UK. To the best of my knowledge, involuntary commitment (sectioning) occurs when a person needs to be in hospital or other mental health establishment for their own safety or that of others. If a person does not fit these criteria, they are detained voluntarily (informally), and may leave whenever they wish. That seems to be the British law. If the legal criteria for someone to be sectioned are not met, it is down to the individual to choose to remain in hospital. I was told that I couldn't voluntarily ask to be involuntarily committed to hospital or rehab.

Hospitals, therapeutic communities, rehabs etc are all very used to people entering treatment and then wishing to leave, because it does get tough in these places. I have been in that position many times and I found something that helped me was to talk to a nurse and say, 'I feel like walking out, I really want to, but I want to get well', and talk it over with them. Anyone thinking that they'd like to ask to be held in hospital, etc, but finding out, like I did, that they can't, may like to consider that course of action.

I hope that you find this helpful.

Shelly33 xxxxxxxx
 
S

shelly33

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Jun 22, 2009
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Hi again, Zoe,

Ramboghettouk was posting at the same time as me, having read his post I can see that mine was a bit confusing. I'll try and clarify.

Once you are in hospital voluntarily, at any time the staff may decide that a person is not well enough to leave and may then hold them involuntarily. But the staff can only do so if the person is an immediate and serious danger to themselves or others as a result of their illness. If a person is walking out and the staff cannot demonstrate that they are an immediate and serious danger to themselves or others, that person is free to leave even if leaving will ultimately prove not to be in their best interests. In that case, it's up to the person to keep themselves there, and the best way that I found to do so was to ask for help and support.

Sorry if I caused any confusion and I hope that this clears it up.

Shelly33 xxx
 
R

ramboghettouk

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Personally i'm not sure of the new mental health act, could do with boning up on it, i could need to know my rights.

One friend was sectioned and discharged though he wanted to stay in, he got into trouble with the law and spent 2 yrs in a secure unit with the trial constantly postponed, a friend said at the trial he had a document from the local health authority talking about hotbedding were people are discharged to make beds available, the judge said that was hearsay evidence
 
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