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Allowing Mental Ill-health Sufferers To Live A ‘Normal’ Life

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on the 10th October every year.

The day raises awareness for the millions affected by mental health issues, promoting a more understanding community and eroding the stigma attached to mental ill-health.

This year’s theme was set by the World Federation for Mental Health and is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’.

Unfortunately, thousands of people do not receive the treatment they deserve or those, alongside their families or carers, experience discrimination. Stigma associated with mental health has both physical and mental affects, impacting upon educational opportunities and job prospects. The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has seen mental health services significantly disrupted, meaning people could not take part in their usual day-to-day activities, leaving some in social isolation. For example, day centres were not open and people were unable to visit relatives living in care homes – those diagnosed with dementia benefit from social interaction or activities to slow down the progression of the disease.

Here at Wilson Browne Solicitors, within the Court of Protection team, we assist clients with their property and financial affairs under authority from the Court of Protection where clients lack the mental capacity to manage their affairs for themselves. We also assist clients under a Lasting Power of Attorney where the client finds it overwhelming and would prefer someone else to take that responsibility.

The team manage affairs for clients where a variety of mental health issues are present and often face challenges explaining capacity or the Court of Protection deputyship to organisations like banks or utilities. There is also more often than not a lack of understanding around the ability of clients to undertake paid work, especially those who have severe anxiety. World Mental Health Day is therefore an opportunity to spread the word and make a change.

Court of Protection Deputyship Order - Case Study

Client A was diagnosed with Autism and Schizophrenia at a young age. The team at Wilson Browne Solicitors manage their property and financial affairs under authority of a Court of Protection deputyship order. The client was transferred to us back in 2008 from the Local Authority. They live an independent life and have a great support network at their assisted living accommodation. Managing their finances involves arranging a weekly allowance for them to spend on whatever they like – this has been reviewed over the years and is kept at a level that would allow our client independence but also protects them from exploitation. The client is involved in any discussions regarding their finances and will always come to us with requests outside of their weekly allowance. For example, recently we purchased new home furnishings on their behalf.

Independent Living - Case Study

We are keen on our clients having as much freedom as possible and during a recent visit to our client they expressed how they would like to be trusted with their money more. One step taken a couple of years ago was to arrange for their own bank card where they could withdraw their allowance from the cash point, with assistance from their care team, rather than visiting the office for a cash allowance. The weekly allowance is now in review again to ensure our client feels trusted and we have had discussions with them on the best way forward for him.

 

World Mental Health Day is about removing the stigma attached to mental ill-health and allowing those experiencing it to live a ‘normal’ life.

To support World Mental Health Day please text THRIVE to 70330 to give £3.

Rachel Leatherland

Posted:

Rachel Leatherland

Trainee Solicitor

Rachel is a Trainee Solicitor in the Court of Protection team. She assists those who are vulnerable and may need help with managing their affairs. Part of her role is to assist the other fee earners in the team with general and financial administration. This…