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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Mental Health Law: MHO Role in Context (PGSP11588)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe provisions of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 demonstrate an awareness of the need for greater equality, fairness and choice and a more holistic approach to service delivery in the mental health field. As such, the Acts significantly extends the rights and protections to individuals through a body of overarching principles, which are legally binding upon Mental Health Officers and other professionals charged with functions under the Acts and must underpin all associated interventions. The Acts gives MHOs a crucial and greatly enhanced role which demonstrates the positive recognition of MHO skills, knowledge and expertise in managing the often complex social consequences of mental disorder and in sharing authority to take compulsory measures alongside medical colleagues. This unit will address the nature and function of the MHO role in relation to mental health law, consider the roles and responsibilities of a range of other professionals and the particular issues and ethical challenges related to care and assessment of needs in relation to compulsion. There will be an emphasis on human rights throughout. In addition to the teaching/learning component there will be a practice placement within the mental health field, with an emphasis on applying and developing relevant MHO skills and knowledge.

Course description Academic Description
o The course provides students with a critical and in-depth exploration of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015, with emphasis on the range of duties and responsibilities of the MHO role and how this links with those of other professionals and the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland. It takes a detailed look at the principles of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and each of the key statutory measures of compulsory care and treatment. The taught academic component of the course is aimed
at equipping students to demonstrate the ability to undertake the functions of the MHO role during the subsequent practice element. The syllabus is designed to enable students to engage with the lived experience of being made subject to compulsory measures under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and to address the ethical and human rights issues that are integral to this work, including questions of discrimination and oppression.

Outline Content
o The principles and provisions of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015
o The duties and responsibilities of the MHO, including making applications for compulsory measures and completing statutory reports
o The roles of other professionals including advocacy
o The lived experience of being made subject to compulsory measures
o The role of the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland and the procedures for tribunal hearings

Student Learning Experience
o The academic element of the course is taught using a combination of class based and online learning. Students are encouraged to actively participate though small group work and a range of directed learning tasks. They are also required to engage in independent/self-directed study. Students then undertake a practice placement in their own local authority area with support from a Practice Assessor. The course has three assessed elements: a law assignment; a critical analysis of practice; and a placement report, which together allow students to the meet the course's learning outcomes.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  28
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The Course has three assignments:
Open Book Law Exam - pass/fail - the percentage weighting is 0%.
Critical analysis of practice - the percentage weighting is 100%.
Placement report - the percentage weighting is 0%.
All are 'must pass' assessments.
Feedback Assignments will be returned with feedback within 15 working days of submission.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Make a comprehensive assessment of need and manage planned and unplanned risk within the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 and policy frameworks, in collaboration with other disciplines and organisations.
  2. Critically apply the principles of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 to the actions and decisions which the MHO would make in practice, including aspects of compulsion.
  3. Demonstrate awareness of respective roles, responsibilities, accountabilities and inter-relationships in the context of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 and Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015, and in managing professional tensions, ethical dilemmas and conflicts
  4. Demonstrate knowledge and awareness of issues relating to equality, diversity and social work values
Reading List
Fernando, S. (2010). Mental health, race and culture (Third ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003. Codes of Practice, 3 Volumes. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

Patrick, H., & Stavert, J. (2016). Mental health, incapacity and the law in Scotland. (Second edition) London: Palgrave MacMillan
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills -The application of analytical, conceptual, critical and empirical methods to the study of professional MHO practice.
-Structuring and presenting critical analysis and argument.
-Independent learning.
-Problem formulation and solving
-Written communication skills.
-Oral and visual presentation skills.
-Time management.
-Working under pressure.
-Self-evaluation and assessment.
-Information retrieval and research skills.
-ITC skills as required by the SSSC.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Pearse McCusker
Tel: (0131 6)50 3927
Course secretaryMrs Beth Richardson-Mills
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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