This study explored the experiences of detention under the Mental Health Act (1983) of people with learning disabilities. Semi‐structured one‐to‐one interviews (N = 7) were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Participants had mild learning disabilities and had been detained under the Mental Health Act in England for compulsory assessment and treatment within a two‐year period prior to the study. A number of valuable insights emerged, including: the impact of perceived lack of control over self, experiences of vulnerability/powerlessness/ victimisation (both prior to and following detention), participant's sense of care versus punishment; the development of ‘role’ within the mental health system and attribution of blame. The study helps expand the current literature on experiences of people with learning disabilities from their perspective, identifies the possible emotional impact of detention and indexes the range of coping styles elicited between participants in the face of detention.
Advances in Mental Health and Learning Disabilities – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2007
Keywords: Mental health needs; Learning disabilities; Intellectual disabilities; Mental Health Act; Detention; Emotional impact; Coping styles
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