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Med Sci Law. 2011 Jul;51(3):164-9.

'A frightening experience': detainees' and carers' experiences of being detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

Author information

1
2gether NHS Foundation Trust--R&D, Trust Headquarters Riknel Montpellier, Gloucester, Gloucestershire GL1 1LY. genevieve.riley@glos.nhs.uk

Abstract

AIMS:

This research reports on the views of detainees and their carers of their experiences of being detained under Section 136 (S136) of the Mental Health Act 1983. Individual interviews were conducted with 18 detainees and six carers.

METHOD:

A semi-structured questionnaire was administered face-to-face to gather qualitative data, which was analysed using a grounded theory approach.

RESULTS:

The results indicated a general dissatisfaction with the quality of care and treatment from both police and professionals. Though several detainees recognized the need for police to be involved, most felt they lacked the skills needed to meet the needs of mentally ill people. Nearly all participants felt that the police station was an inappropriate setting for further assessment, and found their experiences in police cells distressing, making them feel like criminals.

CONCLUSIONS:

Detainees and carers would like to see the provision of a place of safety other than emergency departments or police stations, and this study reinforces the Mental Health Code of Practice 2008 which states that police stations should only be used on an exceptional basis.

PMID:
21905573
DOI:
10.1258/msl.2011.010074
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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