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Mental Health

Mental health

Key myths and facts

These key facts and statistics about mental health problems can help to challenge the myths that can contribute to the stigma that many people still face.

Myth: Mental health problems are very rare.
Fact: 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem in any given year.

Myth: People with mental illness aren't able to work.
Fact: We probably all work with someone experiencing a mental health problem.

Myth: People with mental health illnesses are usually violent and unpredictable.
Fact: People with a mental illness are more likely to be a victim of violence.

Myth: People with mental health problems don't experience discimination.
Fact: 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems experience stigma & discrimination.

Deprivation of Liberty Standards

What is DoLS?

The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) were introduced into the Mental Capacity Act 2005, by the Mental Health Act 2007 and came into force on 1st April 2009. This legislation provides a framework to ensure that deprivation of liberty happens, only under very specific conditions and only when it is in someone's best interests.

Some people living in care homes and hospitals may not be able to make their own decisions. They may sometimes lack the capacity to consent to treatment or care and may need, in their own best interests, to be deprived of their liberty.

Who does this apply to?

DoLS apply to people in care homes and hospitals who meet all of the following criteria. A person must:

  • be aged 18 or over;
  • have a mental disorder such as dementia or a learning disability;
  • lack the capacity to consent to where their treatment and/or care is given;
  • need to have their liberty taken away in their own best interests to protect them from harm.

There is currently no definition of what a deprivation of liberty is, but the following factors would be relevant:

  • If someone is not allowed to leave the care home or hospital
  • If someone is under continuous supervision and control

The DoLS exist to ensure that no one is deprived of their liberty without good reason, and that if someone needs to be deprived of their liberty in these circumstances, that person still has specific rights. One of these rights is that every person deprived of their liberty under the terms of the MCA DoLS must have a Relevant Persons Representative (RPR) to protect their interests throughout the process.

The role of the RPR is:

  • to maintain contact with the person being deprived of their liberty;
  • to represent and support that person in all matters relating to the DoLS, including, if appropriate, requesting a review, using an organisation’s complaints procedure on the person’s behalf or making an application to the Court of Protection;
  • to provide support that is independent of the relevant person’s commissioners and service providers.


The legislation introduces a responsibility for care homes or hospitals to obtain authorisation for someone to be deprived of their liberty.

If someone is at risk of being deprived of their liberty, or is already being deprived of their liberty, the registered care home manager or hospital must apply for authorisation of the deprivation of liberty. The application must be made to the relevant supervisory body. -

What do to next if?

  • you think you are being deprived of your liberty or;
  • you think someone you know is being deprived of their liberty.

If you are a resident in a care home and you feel that you are at risk of being deprived of your liberty, or are already being deprived of your liberty, you can ask the registered manager of the home to refer you to City of York Council's DoLS team for an assessment of your situation. Similarly, if you are a relative or friend of a resident and have such concerns contact the DoLS team. 

If you are a registered care home manager and you are concerned about a resident in your care, please contact the DoLS team for advice and assistance.



Email: DoLS.Team@york.gov.uk

Telephone: tel: (01904) 554643


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