Want to make a real difference in the field of law? Becoming an approved mental health professional opens the door to many rewarding and highly-fulfilling careers. The field of mental health care is as vast as it is interesting. The purpose of the Mental Health Tribunal is to review people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended). By studying mental health law, you can aim to join the tribunal.
When you make the decision to further your education in this realm, you will find that there are many avenues which you can go down. This lesser-known aspect of law is crucial to the lives of many individuals, particularly those that are vulnerable. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what it takes to become qualified in mental health law.
Review your current knowledge
Ahead of launching your career in mental health law, you should take a moment to review your existing knowledge. Before you can determine whether you’re prepared for a job in mental health law, consider the skills that you already have. You will need a baseline understanding of the field as well as the capacity to learn new things. To help you grasp the skills that this industry requires, here are some examples:
First or second class honours degree
Foundation knowledge of law
General mental health understanding
The ability to travel for work
Collaboration with social workers and care workers
The capacity to learn new skills
So that you can start studying mental health law, you will need a first or second class degree. Alternatively, you could gain you diplomas or qualifications in Law and Justice. These are designed for users who want to go onto university, which, along with other diplomas, can allow learners to progress onto an LLB top-up degree programme (the final year of university). Take the time to consider your options when you’re looking at the various courses that are available online and on campus.
You can review how well-suited you’d be for a step into this area of law by taking a look at this skills you already have. A survey that spoke to lawyers and solicitors, conducted by Lexis Nexis, found that good social and communication skills, or ‘human skills’ were listed as important qualities for a successful lawyer.
Having "human skills" is important to succeed in law
Having "human skills" is slightly important to succeed in law
Having "human skills" is not important to succeed in law
Find postgraduate courses
While you may want to further your studies with postgraduate Law courses. You could specialise in the field of mental health, allowing you to work towards a career in mental health law with the NHS. By the end of your studies, you should have a deep understanding of mental health legislation, what safeguards are needed, and the various interventions used.
Benefits of studying mental health law
If you are considering undertaking accreditation in mental health law, there are many reasons to do so. Becoming an approved mental health professional means that you can help and support those in vulnerable positions. With that in mind, here are some of the benefits you can expect.
A rewarding career
Looking for a career where you can truly make a difference? Once you are an approved mental health professional, you will take on the responsibility of defending the rights of citizens who need it the most. That is no small feat. Working alongside social workers, carers, psychiatry professionals, and more, you will advocate for service users.
Needless to say, individuals with mental health problems often find themselves in challenging positions. They may receive a community treatment order or voluntarily consent to treatment. Either way, these people will be overseen by the Care Quality Commission and given the support that they need from start to finish.
A step away from corporate and business law
Corporate and business law can be interesting. However, if you want to take a step away from that field, delving into mental health law is a savvy move. As you start to gain work experience in this area, you will see that it is highly people-focussed. Making a positive impact on people’s lives is rewarding as well as diverse. Ensuring that these people get the highest level of mental health conditions is a noble and brave position to take.
As a mental health law expert your job will be one of advocacy. You will work alongside care providers, such as a mental health nurse or carer, to ensure that the law is being upheld. All of the above means that you are making a huge difference to people’s lives.
Greater variety of cases
If there’s one thing you can say about the realms of mental health care, it’s that it’s never boring. This is a career that is certain to keep you on your feet. Working in this field means that you will have a variation in your cases. Whether you’re working in England, Scotland, or Wales, you should find that the role is broadly spanning. You will be referring to the Mental Health Act 1983 at all times and ensuring that each case adheres to the legislation.
Ready to embark on your professional development? Your first move will be to look into the mental health law accreditation available to you. The more you know about your choices, the better informed you will be to make the right decision for you. Investing in your professional future could help you to get ahead. Take the time to consider your options and figure out which one works for you.