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Working with the
Mental Health Act 
(4th edition)

The Mental Health Act provides for the detention and treatment of people with mental disorder. It also allows for the supervision of people in the community. The Act is a substantial and complex piece of law. Health and social care professionals and others need to ensure they have a good understanding of its operation and related powers. The 4th edition of Working with the Mental Health Act provides a clear and detailed explanation of the Act. It is written in an accessible style and is designed to be of maximum use to health and social care practitioners, lawyers, advocates and other professional groups enabling them to utilise the Act with confidence in daily practice. Published October 2020.


Both authors have direct experience of working in mental health hospitals and they currently deliver training on the Act across England and Wales to nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, advocates, lawyers and other professional groups. Steven Richards was one of the original authors of the Maze, the Maudsley hospital's guide to the Act and Aasya Mughal is a barrister who has represented patients before the Mental Health Tribunal.


Throughout the book there are a series of summary tables, charts and diagrams designed to provide at a glance information and explanations.


Each detention section is presented with information including: 


  • Legal criteria

  • Powers

  • Who is involved

  • Time limits

  • Leave of absence

  • Patient rights

  • Duties on staff

  • Discharge options

  • Renewal

  • Forms

  • Code of Practice guidance

  • Mental Capacity Act interface


Separate dedicated chapters provide detailed information on:


  • Appeals to the Mental Health Tribunal and Hospital Managers

  • Approved and Responsible Clinicians

  • Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHP)

  • Independent Mental Health Advocates (IMHA)

  • Coronavirus pandemic guidance from the DHSC

  • Mental Health Act and Mental Capacity Act interface

  • Consent to care and treatment

  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) or the Mental Health Act

  • Case law – the latest court and tribunal judgments

  • Code of Practice – quotes and guidance from the Code 

  • Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018 

  • Children and young people

  • Treatment powers and rules

  • Liberty Protection Safeguards – a new law to replace DoLS in 2022

Working with the Mental Health Act - book

A4 paperback - 250 pages

ISBN: 978-0-9931324-1-4

Authors: Steven Richards & Aasya F Mughal

£22.50 - order from our shop for free P&P


Also available from

Try before you buy - see sample pages from the book below

Free resources to download from

Working with the Mental Health Act (4th edition)

Mental Health Act 1983 wall chart

A new fully updated edition of this wall chart was published in January 2021. All of the main detention powers of the Act are presented on single wall chart for easy access by staff  or service users. Sections 135(1), 136, 5(2), 5(4), 2, 3, 37, Community Treatment Orders, Guardianship and DoLS (Mental Capacity Act) are all explained. The following information is provided for each section: purpose, legal criteria, duration, staff, treatment, leave of absence, duties on staff, right of appeal, right to advocate, independent monitoring, discharge and  Code of Practice guidance.


A1 size (59x84 cm) - £12.50 - order from our shop for free P&P or go to

Looking for training
on the
Mental Health Act?

We recommend

Edge Training and Consultancy Ltd

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