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Leading city lawyers support World Mental Health Day 2016

Rachel Turner, partner and joint head of mental health law at Miles & Partners in London, explains that World Mental Health Day was initiated by the World Federation Health Organisation and is observed each year to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and improving access to support.

This year’s theme of ‘psychological first aid’ focuses on the support people can give to those in distress in the aftermath of a crisis. Globally the effects of war, displacement, humanitarian and natural disasters are crises on an epic scale that need support. However, closer to home, in the City of London, the effects of economic displacement, redundancy, accidents, illnesses, family disputes, homelessness and physical and mental abuse can also be devastating.

The term ‘mental health issue’ is often used to describe anything from mild depression, the spectrum of dementia related illnesses, a psychotic episode, deficits following a brain injury to a serious long term mental disorders. A crisis point is often reached following illness, violence, substance abuse or bereavement.

Whether you are young or old, this can be a scary time especially if the authorities or medical staff hold all the power and are recommending a path that you do not agree with. Knowing who to turn to for legal advice on your rights, or those of a relative, in times of such crisis can be difficult.

It may be that you are worried about a loved one who has lost mental capacity and become unable to make decisions for themselves. Or it may be that you want to challenge the conduct of a deputy or carer. You may be prevented from visiting your relative. Or perhaps you are facing detention under the Mental Health Act.

At Miles & Partners, our dedicated team of specialist mental health lawyers in London understand that anyone can be affected by mental health issues, at any time, and that is when you need clear, practical legal advice and assistance the most. If you, or a relative, find yourself in care home or hospital our lawyers can help you understand your legal rights in relation to your liberty and human rights, medical treatment and interventions, care and privacy, property and finances.

You may even be entitled to free legal advice. In fact, legal aid may be available to you irrespective of your financial means if you or a relative need representation in certain Court of Protection proceedings or at a mental health tribunal.

At Miles & Partners, we pride ourselves in our compassionate and timely service. We help you understand what is happening and what you can do about it. If necessary, we can ask the court to step in and take emergency measures on your behalf.

For confidential advice on mental health and capacity or Court of Protection contact Rachel Turner on 020 7426 0400 or email

The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.