Mental Health Law Reform: The Impact on Children and Young People in Northern Ireland
The Bamford Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability (Northern Ireland) was established in October 2002 to examine all aspects of the law, policy and provisions that affect people with mental health needs or a learning disability in Northern Ireland. Its report A Comprehensive Legislative Framework, which deals with the reform of law in this area, proposes significant change to mental health law, which is largely welcome. This article outlines some of those key changes and preliminary thoughts regarding the impact of some of the specific proposals on children and young people with mental health problems in Northern Ireland, highlighting those areas that warrant particular attention. Particular comment is made on current legislation and concerns regarding the funding and provision of child and adolescent services in Northern Ireland. Proposals in the Framework for the introduction of capacity legislation and the impact of such on children and young people with mental health problems are examined in light of recent legislative changes in Great Britain. Comment is also made on the need for significant changes in the law and policy regarding the provision of services and support to those children and young people with a personality disorder.
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