AMHP services have had to adapt to an often surreal dysfunctionality in wider mental health services.
National policy demands fewer detentions under the Mental Health Act, not just in the prime case of racialised people, from whom there may be most to learn, but across the board.
Faced with risks AMHPs [and S12 doctors] were trained to shudder at more than understand, uncertainties of resource, intention, outcome, other professionals more concerned to protect themselves than to reach the person, it can feel difficult not to detain under Mental Health Act.
“Call the Doctor…Quick!” Assessing Children under the Mental Health Act. A post by Sarah Raymond with worrying quote:-
The numbers of referrals for Mental Health Act assessments on children steadily but slowly increase year on year
‘Dilemmas, Conundrums, and Quagmires.’ Tracing the Threads of Ethical AMHP Practice. A post by Alan Bristol with the following slightly amended quotes:-
Ethical concerns are not only a pressing issue, but the central issue or foundational concern for wider Approved Mental Health Practitioner (AMHP) practice.
The statutory mental health system is too coercive and potentially anti-therapeutic in its effects, whilst also continually evidencing structurally racist, patriarchal and heteronormative practices.
Another post by John Michell entitled AMHPersonality: Disordered?, about the disadvantages of using detention in the management of personality disorder, with quote:-
Detaining people with ‘personality disorder’ may be unjust, even when refusal to do so may itself feel like an injustice to the person being assessed.
These quotes are necessarily selective but give a flavour of the perspective of The Critical AMHP blog. It deserves to be more widely known.