Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Attitudes and experiences of nursing staff to the Mental Health Act 2001: lessons for future mental health legislation

  • A. M. Doherty (a1), F. Jabbar (a1) and B. D. Kelly (a2)
Abstract
Objectives

The Mental Health Act 2001 was implemented in 2006 to bring Ireland into line with international practice and United Nations Conventions on Human Rights. Previous studies have reported some practical difficulties for the professionals involved. We wished to examine the experiences of nursing staff and the impact of the Act on clinical nursing practice since its implementation.

Method

This cross-sectional survey was conducted by questionnaire. It contained questions examining training in and attitudes to the Act, and any resultant changes in nursing practise.

Results

A total of 317 questionnaires were returned. Of the nurses, 92% reported having received training in the Act, and 56% of nursing staff believed that their workload had increased as a result of the change in legislation. Of those who made a comment, 76.5% were negative, with increased paper work, lack of clarity and an excessive focus on legalities being the most common difficulties reported.

Conclusions

Nursing staff have shown mixed attitudes to the Mental Health Act 2001, but many of the difficulties encountered are similar to those experienced by other professionals.

Copyright
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: A. M. Doherty, UCD/Mater University Hospital, 63 Eccles Street, Dublin 7, Ireland. (Email: annedohertyemail@gmail.com)
References
Hide All
Department of Health and Children (2001). The Mental Health Act 2001. The Stationery Office: Dublin.
Ganter, K (2005). Implementing the Mental Health Act 2001: what should be done? What can be done? Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine 22, 7982.
Jabbar, F, Doherty, AM, Aziz, M, Kelly, BD (2011). Implementing the Mental Health Act 2007 in British general practice: Lessons from Ireland. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 34, 414418.
Jabbar, F, Kelly, BD, Casey, P (2010). National survey of psychiatrists’ responses to implementation of the Mental Health Act 2001 in Ireland. Irish Journal of Medical Science 179, 291294.
Kelly, BD (2007). The Irish Mental Health Act 2001. Psychiatric Bulletin 31, 2124.
Kelly, BD, Lenihan, F (2006). Attitudes towards the implementation of the Mental Health Act 2001. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine 23, 8284.
Kelly, M, O’Sullivan, K, Finegan, P, Moran, J, Bradley, C (2011). Assisted admissions? A national survey of general practitioner experience of involuntary admissions. Irish Medical Journal 104, 273275.
Ní Mhaoláin, Á, Kelly, BD (2009). Ireland’s Mental Health Act 2001/where are we now? Psychiatric Bulletin 33, 161164.
Nwachukwu, I, Crumlish, N, Heron, EA, Gill, M (2010). Irish Mental Health Act 2001: impact on involuntary admissions in a community mental health service in Dublin. The Psychiatrist 34, 436440.
O’Donoghue, B, Lyne, J, Hill, M, Larkin, C, Feeney, L, O’Callaghan, E (2010). Involuntary admission from the patients' perspective. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 45, 631638.
O’Donoghue, B, Moran, P (2009). Consultant psychiatrists’ experiences and attitudes following the introduction of the Mental Health Act 2001: a national survey. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine 26, 2326.
United Nations (2006). The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. United Nations Department of Public Information. United Nations: Geneva.
United Nations, Secretariat Centre for Human Rights (1991). United Nation’s Principles for the Protection of Persons with Mental Illness and the Improvement of Mental Health Care. United Nations, Secretariat Centre for Human Rights.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0790-9667
  • EISSN: 2051-6967
  • URL: /core/journals/irish-journal-of-psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score