Mental health law in Scotland: guide to named persons

A named person is someone who can look after your interests if you are cared for or treated under mental health legislation. This guide provides information to help you understand your rights.

9. Finding Further Information, Advice and Support

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland protects and promotes the human rights of people with mental illness, learning disability, dementia and related conditions. The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland has an advice line which you can call to speak to someone to help you to understand more about mental health law, what this means for you and your rights: 0800 389 6809.

The Mental Welfare Commission's website provides information and advice.

There are a number of sources of advice available to you, including your mental health officer (MHO), independent advocacy, solicitors and the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland. If you are making a decision about whether you want to have a named person and who your named person should be you might want to speak to other people to get advice before doing so. The decision is yours and you should not feel pressured into making it.

You do not have to have a named person if you do not want to but having one that acts in your best interests can be helpful to you.

Under the law anyone with a mental disorder has the right to access independent advocacy services, whether or not they are receiving compulsory treatment. An independent advocate can help and support you to express your own views about your care, treatment and welfare. However, an independent advocate cannot make any decisions on your behalf, like a named person can.

An independent advocate can come with you to a Tribunal hearing to support you but does not have the same rights as a named person so cannot receive information about you from the Tribunal or provide their own views to the Tribunal. An independent advocate does not act as your legal representative.

You can have both an independent advocate and a named person if you want to.

This guide, along with other guides in the series, have been produced by the Scottish Government. If you have any queries about what you have read in this guide then you should speak to your independent advocate, solicitor, care team or the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland.


Email: Dan Curran

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