Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) Service
When a Mental Health Act (MHA) assessment might be required
An assessment under the MHA may be arranged when a person is thought to be suffering from a mental disorder and is considered to pose a risk to themselves or others.
Prior to requesting a MHA assessment, consideration should be given to whether there may be other ways to support the person, such as input from a Community Mental Health Team or Crisis Team, a review of social care needs, family support or help from the GP.
The purpose of the assessment is to consider whether it is necessary to detain a person in hospital under a section of the MHA. A person will only be detained under the MHA if their care and treatment can no longer be provided safely in the community, and they are unwilling (or unable) to agree to go into hospital (or stay in hospital) voluntarily.
A person may need to have a MHA assessment if:
- There is a rapid and serious deterioration in their mental health; or
- There is a gradual decline over a longer period which has reached a critical point; and
- The person or those around them are at significant risk of harm as a result of their current mental health needs.