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Learning Objective 1: Describe the concepts of 'vulnerability' and 'risk'
Vulnerability - Defenceless in front of potential risks
Risk - External danger, someone or something that suggests a hazard
Learning Objective 2: Identify vulnerability & risk related to:
People with intellectual disability
The mentally ill
Homosexual & transgender people
Identify the criteria listed in s22 of the Mental Health Act 2007 that deals with the scheduling of mentally ill persons
Why are the elderly regarded as a vulnerable population?
The are more at risk of the following than other groups:
- *Financial abuse
- *Pychological Abuse
- *Physical Abuse
List some characteristics that typify someone who is intellectually disabled:
- *Incurable brain dysfunction
- *Usually born with the condition
- *Low IQ
- *A permanent affliction
List some of the characteristics of someone who might be suffering from mental illness:
- * A distortion of thinking
- * Often develops in late adolescence/adulthood
- * high/normal IQ
- * Can be cured in some cases
Mentally Ill Persons detained for criminal offences - The issue of mental illness can cause problems in determining if the mentally ill person could form the mens rea. s22 MHA gives police discretion in this situation, which is further guided in the police handbook-
1. Table 1 indictable offences or strictly indictable offences should be dealt with by the mentally ill person being charged and put before the Court for the Court to decide as to their level of mental illness.
2. Table 2 Indictable offences or summary offences should be dealt with under the MHA 2007.
NB. decisions to be made on the basis of the seriousness of the offence, criminal records of the mentally ill person and the circumstances in which the offence is committed.
Sexuality - historically considered by the majority of society as sexual deviants
Homosexual & transgender people still experience high levels of discriminisation and victimisation in the general community.
They gravitate towards locations where similar individuals tend to congregate & live.
Who does LEPRA define as a vulnerable people?
- 1. Juveniles
- 2. Impaired intellectual functioning
- 3. Impaired physical functioning
- 4. ATSI
- 5. NESB
What is the distinction between a mental disorder/disturbance and being mentally ill?
S14 (1) MHA describes a mentally ill person as a person suffering from mental illness and, owing to that illness, there are reasonable grounds for believing that care, treatment or control of the person is necessary:
- (a) for the persons own protection from serious harm, or
- (b) for the protection from others from serious harm
- s15 MHA describes a mentally disordered person as-
- A person (whether or not the person is suffering from mental illness) is a mentally disordered person if the persons behaviour for the time being is so irrational as to justify a conclusion on reasonable grounds that temporary care, treatment or control of the person is necessary:
- (a) for the persons own protection from serious physical harm, or
- (b) for the protection from others from serious physical harm
What requirements must police satisfy when using s22 MHA?
s22 Detention after apprehension by police.
- (1) May apprehend on reasonable grounds if:
- (a) the person is committing or has recently committed an offence or that the person has recently attempted to kill himself or the person will attempt to kill himself or another person or attempt to cause serious physical harm to himself or another person
- (b) it would be BENEFICIAL to the persons welfare to be dealt with in accordance with this Act
(2) police may apprehend without a warrant & exercise powers under s81(tansportation) on a person who is AUTHORISED under that section to take a person to a Mental health facility
Who are the three agences involved in the Memorundum of Understanding for Mental Health? and what is their key role?
- 1. NSW Police - Transport & apprehend and take part in or assist to a mental health facility
- 2. NSW Ambulance Service - Safe transport
- 3. NSW Health - Right assessment care & management
To provide a framework for the effective management of people with mental illness, and to improve the performance and outcomes.
Give two characteristics that define a trsngender person being recognised as being a transgender person:
Transgender ( /trænzˈdʒɛndər/) is a general term applied to a variety of individuals, behaviors, and groups involving tendencies to vary from culturally conventional gender roles.Transgender is the state of one's "gender identity" (self-identification as woman, man, neither or both) not matching one's "assigned sex" (identification by others as male, female or intersex based on physical/genetic sex). "Transgender" does not imply any specific form of sexual orientation; transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual; some may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable to them. The precise definition for transgender remains in flux, but includes:"Of, relating to, or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender roles, but combines or moves between these.""People who were assigned a sex, usually at birth and based on their genitals, but who feel that this is a false or incomplete description of themselves.""Non-identification with, or non-presentation as, the sex (and assumed gender) one was assigned at birth."A transgender individual may have characteristics that are normally associated with a particular gender, identify elsewhere on the traditional gender continuum, or exist outside of it as "other", "agender", "Genderqueer", or "third gender". Transgender people may also identify as bigender, or along several places on either the traditional transgender continuum, or the more encompassing continuums which have been developed in response to the significantly more detailed studies done in recent years.
Under s16 MHA certain words or conduct may not indicate mental illness or disorder. Give 4 examples of these words or conduct.
- (a) expresses/fails to express/refuses to express a particular political opinion or belief
- (b) expresses/fails to express/refuses to express a particular religious belief
- (c) expresses/fails to express/refuses to express a particular philosophy
- (d) expresses/fails to express/refuses to express a particular sexual preference or sexual orientation
- (e) engages in/fails to engage in/refuses to engage in particular political activity
- (f) engages in/fails to engage in/refuses to engage in particular religious activity
- (g) engages in or has engaged in a particular sexual activity or sexual promiscuity
- (h) the person engages in or has engaged in immoral conduct
- (i) the person engages in or has engaged in illegal conduct
- (j) the person has developmental disability of mind
- (k) the person takes or has taken alcohol or any other drug
- (l) the person engages in or has engaged in anti-social behaviour
- (m) the person has a particular economic group or social status or is a member of a particular cultural or racial group
Under s19 of MHA a medical practitioner may sign a certificate declaring a person to be mentally ill. Why is it important for Police to be aware of this section?
S19 - detention on certificate of medical practitioner or accredited person.
s19(1) a person may be taken to & detained in a MHF on the basis of a certificate about the persons condition issued by a medical practitioner.
- s19(2) the medical practitioner has:
- (a) has personally examined or observed the persons condition immediately before or shortly after completing the certificate
- (b) is of the opinion that the person is mentally ill and
- (c) is satisfied that no other appropriate means for dealing with the person is reasonably available
- (d) is not the primary carer or near relative of the person
(3) A certificate may contain a police assistance endorsement if the medical practitioner has serious concerns to the safety of the person or others.
Who may request police assistance in s20 MHA?
s20 - Detention on information of ambulance office
s20(2) an ambulance officer may request police assistance if of the opinion that there are serious concerns relating to the safety of the person or other persons if the person is taken to a mental health facility without the assistance of a police officer.
Referring to the previous question what sort of assistance may this group request of police under s20 of the MHA?
transportation to a MHF
what does s21 MHA oblige police to do? what additional powers does this section give to Police in apprehending a mentally ill person?
s21 Police assistance
- s21(1) A police officer to whose notice a police assistance endorsement on a mental health certificate, or a request for assistance by an ambulance officer must, if practicable:
- (a) apprehend and take or assist in taking the person the subject of the certificate or request to a MHF, or
- (b) cause or make arrangements for some other police officer to do so.
- (2) A police officer may enter premises to apprehend a person under this section, and may apprehend any such person without a warrant and may exercise any powers conferred by s81 on a person who is authorised under that section to take a person to a MHF or another health facility.
under s22(1) of the MHA what are the key issues a police officer must consider before they apprehend a person who appears to be mentally ill or mentally disturbed & take them to a declared mental health facility?
- s221(1) on reasonable grounds that:
- (a) the person is committing or has recently committed an offence or that the person has receptly attempted to kill himself or that it is probable that the person will attempt to kill himself or any other person or attempt to cause serious physical harm to himself or another person, and
- (b) it would be beneficial to the persons welfare to be dealt with in accordance with this Act, rather than in accordance with the law.
s22(2) MHA does not require police to have what before they can act?
A police officer may apprehend a person under this section without a warrant & may exercise any powers conferred by s81 on a person who is authorised under that section to take a person to a mental health facility or another heatlth facility.
Scenario answer based on s22 - Detention after apprehension by police.
- 1. in any place
- 2. A person who appears to be mentally ill or mentally disturbed
- 3. may apprehend and take the person to a MHF if police believe on reasonable grounds
- 4. That the person is committing or recently committed an offence....
5. Person has recently attempted to kill self/others or its probable they will attempt to kill self/others or cause serious harm to self/others.....
6. and it would be beneficial to the persons welfare to be dealt with according to this act.
If you arrested this person under s22 MHA describe what powers a a police officer, you would then be able to exercise under s81 MHA
1. May take the person to a MHF
2. May use reasonable force to take the person to a MHF
3. May restrain the person in any way reasonably necessary
4. May carry out frisk or ordinary search if reasonably suspects person is carrying anything that presents danger to persons or aid their escape
5. May seize and detail things found relevant to the search
How to remember s 81
- s81(1) Take to a MHF
- s81(2)(a) Reasonable force
- s81(2)(b) Restrain
- s81(3) Sedate
- s81(4) Frisk
- s81(5) Seize & detain a thing found relevant to the search
How to remember s21 - Police assistance to an ambulance officer
- s21(1) A Certificate or request from ambulance officer
- s21(1)(a) Apprehend or assist if practicable
- s21(1)(b) arrange another officer
- s21(2) Enter premises, apprehend, without warrant & carry out s81
symptoms of mental illness can be:
- 1. delusions
- 2. Hallucinations
- 3. serious disorder of thought
- 4. severe disturbance of mood
- 5. sustained or repeated irrational behaviour
Police should take into account the following factors when a person is mentally disturbed:
- a) police information
- b) info from witnesses
- c) previous knowledge
- d) appearance
- e) Behaviour & speech
- f) Orientation
- g) Judgement
- h) Harm