Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Rights and Responsibilities in Mental Health Care

LEVEL 04 - Years 4, 5 in Modular UG or PG Cert Course


DEPARTMENT Mental Health

DESCRIPTION This study-unit is intended to familiarise participants with the mental health act, patients’ rights, legal obligations of service providers and service users and the better integration of this vulnerable group in society. Topics addressed include:

- Overview of the main mental illnesses and identifying people at risk;
- Mental Health Act and related legislation such as the Civil Code, Health Act, Health Care Professions Act & legislation on interdiction, incapacitation and guardianship;
- Definitions which emerge from the law;
- Professional involvement in preventative and curative process, patients’ rights, informed consent, care planning, multidisciplinary team, a psycho-social approach to mental health, person centric mental health provision;
- Different care levels/settings: crisis intervention, acute care, community care, rehabilitative and residential, specialised care;
- Mental Health and a person’s lifelong approach – social, relationship, employment and economic situations; and
- Mental Health in other conditions including domestic violence, bullying, addictions, cancer, other chronic diseases, disability.

Study-unit Aims:

The aims of this study-unit are to:

- Transfer knowledge to participants regarding the rights and responsibilities of individuals suffering from a mental illness and their responsible carers;
- Enhance awareness of the legal obligations and responsibilities of service providers and professionals in relation to individuals suffering from a mental illness; and
- Explore the necessary changes in professional practice in order to safeguard patients and pass on the appropriate knowledge to the patients and carers.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Show familiarity with the basic mental illnesses as well as relevant precipitating and risk factors;
- Understand the major implications of the Mental Health Act and related legislation; and
- Describe the patients' rights that need to be considered in the provision of holistic care.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Identify the symptoms of the basic mental illnesses as well as risk factors leading to such illnesses;
- Describe situations/conditions in which mental illness can manifest itself e.g. domestic violence, bullying, addictions, cancer, other chronic diseases and disability;
- Give an overview of the Mental Health Act and related legislation; and
- Present a plan of how to apply and integrate respect for mental health rights in professional practice.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- WHO (2012) QualityRights tool kit : assessing and improving quality and human rights in mental health and social care facilities. WHO.
- Mental Health Act 2012. (Available online)
- T. Davies & T Craig (2009) ABC of Mental Health.

Supplementary Readings:

- Ahuja, N (2010) A Short Textbook of Psychiatry. Jaypee Brothers Medical Publications.
- Kennedy, I and Grubb, A. (2000) Medical Law: Text and Materials.
- Brazier, M. and Cave. E. (2007) Medicine, Patients and the Law.
- Sayce, L. (2015), From Psychiatric Patient to Citizen Revisited.
- WHO European Region (2013) The European Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020. (Available online)
- WHO (2014) Preventing suicide: a global imperative (Available online)

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Project SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Gertrude A Buttigieg
John M. Cachia
Paulann Grech
Alexei Sammut
Anna Maria Vella

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.