Mental Health Act, 2001 Toolkit

The School of Law, University College Cork, has developed a Mental Health Act, 2001 Toolkit in partnership with Mental Health Reform.

When people with mental health difficulties are admitted to mental health units, either on a voluntary or involuntary basis, it is vital that user-friendly, accessible, information is available regarding human rights. Access to this information is essential for people with mental health difficulties, their family members, advocates, supporters and carers. The Mental Health Act, 2001 Toolkit will be published on Mental Health Reform’s website and will include information on topics such as the following:

  • What are the main human rights in Mental Health law?
  • What is the Mental Health Act?
  • Can I make an Advance Healthcare Directive?
  • The Role and Rights of my Supporters / Family / Carers
  • Approved Centres and What to Expect
  • My Rights as a ‘Voluntary Patient’
  • My Rights as an ‘Involuntary Patient’
  • Mental Health Tribunals Explained
  • Complaints, Advocacy and Activism

The Toolkit will be a vital means of empowerment, enabling people to become educated about their rights, so that they can exercise and claim those rights.  This aids fuller realisation of rights provided by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the Irish Constitution, and other human rights documents.

The Toolkit was drafted in consultation with Mental Health Reform’s member organisations, through a series of online and in-person consultation meetings. The meetings were attended by a wide variety of people, including people with lived experience of mental health difficulties, family members, staff and supporters of organisations.

This project was funded by the Irish Research Council.  The researcher was Darius Whelan and the Research Assistant was Claire Carroll. The co-ordinator from Mental Health Reform was Ber Grogan.


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