Mental ill-health covers a wide range of mental distress, from worries and grief that we all experience as part of everyday life to the more serious, such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. They can affect anyone, of any background, at any time of their life and may also have an impact on the people around them, such as family and friends.
The Mental Health Capacity Act 2005 protects people who cannot make decisions for themselves due to a learning disability or mental ill-health where they are unable to consent to their care or treatment for any reason. The Act clearly sets out five principles to be followed by friends, relatives, carers and by any professional:
Every adult has the right to make their own decisions and it must be assumed that they are able to do so unless it is proved otherwise
People must be given all appropriate help before a conclusion is made that they cannot make their own decisions
Freedom to make "unwise" decisions - individuals must retain the right to make what might be seen as unconventional or unwise decisions unless they are unable to reach a decision or it is proved that they are not capable of making their own decision
Anything done for, or on behalf of, someone unable to make their own decisions must be in their best interest
Anything done for, or on behalf of, someone else unable to make their own decisions should interfere as little as possible with their basic rights and freedom
You can read an overview and key points of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 on MIND's website and the full Mental Health Capacity Act 2005 on the website of the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI).
There are things that you can do yourself, such as taking exercise, developing and sustaining friendships, asking for help if you feel distressed or upset and cutting down on coffee, tea, alcohol, nicotine and other addictive substances.
The Mental Health Foundation has put together ten top ways to look after your mental health.
Talking to people who have, or are, experiencing similar feelings can be helpful. Your library or GP surgery will have details of local groups.
You could also contact your GP who may refer you for further help either at your surgery, or with your local Community Mental Health Team, who will arrange any help or care that you might need, including crisis support.
The Books on Prescription Scheme is a very effective way of helping people with common mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, phobias and eating disorders. In partnership with Hampshire Library Service, GPs and other health professionals prescribe books from a list of high quality self-help manuals selected by experienced mental health practitioners.
Hampshire County Council Adult Services department provides a range of services for adults experiencing severe mental distress, through partnerships with mental health nhs trusts and by supporting the voluntary sector.
The Mental Health Act says how you can be treated if you have a mental disorder, and makes clear what your rights are.
The full Mental Health Act 2007 can be found on the website of the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI).
Adult Services and NHS Hampshire Mental Health Commissioners are developing a Strategy in partnership with other organisations, service users and carers. This will guide services in the future to help people with mental distress, thus improving their lives and those of their families and friends.
There is still time for you to say what services you value. Read about the mental health joint commission strategy on the strategy webpage. Although this says that consultation is closed, you can still email your input or use the email link at the bottom of the strategy webage.
In time there will be clear information about services and interventions, with links to local and national provider websites.
Look at our Glossary of terms
Mental Health Foundation ways to look after your mental health
Rethink - working to help everyone recover a better quality of life
Solent Mind providing advice, information and advocacy for better mental health
Wellness Recovery and Action Planning - supporting individuals in their journey of recovery
Read about the mental health joint commission strategy on the strategy webpage.
Although this says that consultation is closed, you can still email your input or use the email link at the bottom of the strategy webage.