Council highlights work of Approved Mental Health Professionals on AMHP day (29th June)

The Adult Principal Social Worker Network highlights the Approved Mental Health Professional role (AMHP) by way of a National AMHP day which is on 29th June this year.

The day is intended to raise awareness of the role of AMHPs and to draw attention to this vital area of practice.
The AMHP is a vital role to the implementation of the Mental Health Act, but one that is often misunderstood or not even known about.

The people who AMHPS help are those with a range of mental disorders, including psychosis, mood disorders, autism, learning disability, eating disorder, drug and alcohol problems, dementia, and personality disorders.
AMHPs are responsible for carrying out Mental Health Act assessments for those who are struggling to manage their illness or are in crisis. The outcome is usually that the person is admitted to hospital voluntarily or under a section of the mental health act or remain at home with support from services. The latter is always the preferred outcome but not always a viable, safe option.

Stockport Council’s AMHP team work in partnership with the NHS, social care professionals, the police, the ambulance service, families and other agencies.
AMHPs are the decision makers to whether powers under the Mental Health Act are used. They ensure that the law and the person’s rights are observed, and the person who is being assessed is given the opportunity to participate in the assessment.

The role of an AMHP is a challenging one, requiring significant training and regular ongoing CPD, not to mention resilience, skill and the ability to act independently.

Councillor Wendy Wild, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said:

“I recently met with members from our AMHP team to hear about the work they do and to understand some of the challenges they face on a daily basis.
With 1 in 4 of us with mental health issues at any one point in time, our AMHP team provide a vital service for those who are finding it difficult to cope with their condition. I am so grateful for the dedication they have to their roles looking after our residents to keep them safe when they are at their most vulnerable.”

Andy Moir is an AMHP employed by Stockport Council and has been working in the area of mental health for around 30 years. Andy explains what inspired him to choose this challenging career:

“My own route into mental health was inextricably linked to early experiences at home, which at one point saw me narrowly avoiding entering the care system. It was only the intervention of an open minded, female mental health social worker that prevented this.
As AMHP’s we have to negotiate the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act and how they interface and keep up to date with developing case law.
The role can be a thought provoking and sometimes challenging but is one that offers variety and responsibility in equal measure and means that “no two days are ever the same.”