Section 7 – Guardianship

Section 7 Mental Health Act 1983 – Guardianship

What is this?

An application has been made by mental health professionals who believe an individual is suffering from a mental disorder of a type of severity which warrants the persons reception into Guardianship, and it has been deemed necessary in the interests of the person’s welfare or for the protection of others that they be subject to a Guardianship order.

The Guardian is often the local social services authority. They can require the person to:

  • Live in a particular place
  • Attend medical or other appointments
  • Meet with their psychiatrist or other mental health professionals

The Guardianship order lasts for 6 months, and can be renewed for a further 6 months, then annually.

The police are able to return the person to their place of residence if they go missing. It is an offence if other people prevent the person from complying with the requirements of the Guardianship order.

You can not be treated with medication without the person’s consent on a Guardianship order.

A Guardianship order does not authorise any deprivation of the person’s liberty.

Getting discharged

The treating doctor can discharge a person when they consider it appropriate.

The patient’s nearest relative can discharge the person at any time.

The person can apply to the mental health tribunal themselves.

Social services can discharge the person at any time.


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