Mental health officer (A guide)


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Page last updated: 14/10/2022

mental health officer

In this brief article, we will be talking about mental health officer, the courses that can make you a mental health officer, the responsibility of a mental health officer, and more information about mental health officer.

What Is A Mental Health Officer In The Mental Health Field?

A mental health officer is a worker who provides mental health services to people who are in need of convenient ways to attain these kinds of services.

These kinds of officers have been helping people who were traumatised after a terrorist attack or refugees that were found after a natural disaster. 

Mental health officers can evaluate people who are alleged to have psychological complications due to their backgrounds and behaviours.

This is because these kinds of officers are trained in this kind of assessment to help these people get acquainted and to refer them to a mental health professional who can further serve their needs.

These mental health officers work in different settings from other mental health professionals.

These kinds of officers are the ones who are out in the field and serving people who can’t acquire mental health services in their current situations. 

These mental health officers are observed to be out in the battlefield after a war helping soldiers who might have suffered PTSD.

In this case, these kinds of officers are promoting mental health services to everyone even those who can’t get these kinds of services in an office that could be far away from their current destination.

The Responsibilities And Duties Of A Mental Health Officer

Mental health officers take psychological assessments in the hospital where they are taking care of psychologically-ill patients.

These kinds of officers are knowledgeable and trained in these kinds of assessments ranging from interviews and tests that are required in this assessment. 

Mental health officers can be hospital-based which allow them to interact with other mental health professionals to help form a treatment plan for the patient.

However, these kinds of officers are underestimated by some mental health professionals due to their lack of experience in mental health services in the hospital.

Mental health officers are in charge of making a social welfare report that has to follow the standards of RMO and Mental Welfare Commission.

This is also where these kinds of officers will be working with social workers who are knowledgeable in making this kind of report. 

Mental health officer (A guide)

The following are other responsibilities of mental health officers:

  • Social Worker Resource
  • Statutory Mental Health Work Responsibilities and Duties
  • Providing referrals for psychological intervention and treatment
  • Confidentiality of the client
  • Able to communicate with different kinds of people, especially troubled ones with complicated psychological troubles

You can learn more about the roles of these officers in the correctional settings by buying this book on this website.

The Mental Health Officer’s Role As Defined By The Mental Health Act

Patients can be taken care of based on the provisions of the Mental Health Act which is where you will be taken care of by mental health officers.

These kinds of officers should be providing the following for you to make you have an identification of consent to the psychological intervention from these patients:

  • a short-term detention certificate
  • an interim CTO
  • a CTO
  • an assessment order
  • a treatment order
  • an interim compulsion order
  • a compulsion order
  • a hospital direction
  • a transfer for treatment direction.

In any of these instances, the mental health officer will do the following duties:

  • interview you
  • advise you of your rights such as your right to independent advocacy, legal representation and your right to have a named person or carer to look after your interests and needs

These kinds of officers are also obligated to do the following:

  • giving consent for you to be assessed or treated in hospital on an emergency or short-term detention certificate
  • applying for eligibility for a CTO
  • letting the Mental Welfare Commission and your named person or carer aware if you have been detained in hospital or when a registration is being made for you to be placed on a CTO.

These kinds of roles of a mental health officer will be elaborated in the further sections.

As you can see, these kinds of officers act as your assistants on your support in your psychological assessment to help you know about what you need to have to be treated with your psychological complications. 

These mental health officers are also required to take care of the mental health welfare of detained patients in hospitals or correctional settings.

It shows that is doesn’t matter what kind of client this kind of officer is working with since all it matters is that mental health services are given to these kinds of people who are in need.

Emergency Or Immediate Psychological Assessments

Depending on the situation of the patient, there are orders that were mentioned in the Mental Health Act that should be done in short-term sessions.

In these emergencies, mental health officers are obliged to do the following:

  •  If you are observed to have a mental complication and you are living in the community and someone opens up about issues about you, then your local authority has a duty to look into your present circumstances. If there is a concern in getting to see you or have a doctor evaluate you, then the mental health officer can register for warrants to get legal access to your home and can take measures to make sure that you are seen by a doctor. These officers can also register for a court order that would allow you to be taken to a supposed place of safety for up to 7 days.
  •  If you become ill as an outcome of your mental complication and need emergency service and treatment, a doctor may accept an emergency detention certificate. This certificate will permit you to be kept in hospital for up to 72 hours. Before the doctor does this he or she must talk about this with the mental health officer and get his/her compliance, unless this is not possible. If possible, this officer will interview you and will talk about your circumstance with the doctor. This officer will then decide whether or not an emergency detention certificate is obligated.
  • The Mental Health Act states that before accepting a temporary or short-term detention certificate the doctor must talk to a mental health officer and get his/her compliance, otherwise, your temporary or short-term detention cannot be forwarded. Before deciding whether to comply with the temporary or short-term detention certificate, this officer should get in touch with you, unless there is a good cause why they cannot do this. When this officer sees you, he/she will make an assessment or evaluation of your current position and future needs and ask if you have a named person or carer, and if not, discuss the role and support you to get one.

These mental health officers can also give you access to independent advocacy services that can give you additional support.

You are also accepted to have a lawyer with you when taking these mental health assessments. 

If the mental health officer is not able to interview you and can’t find a named person appointed for you, this officer will talk to the doctor about this situation.

This will lead to the doctor being unable to have the short-term detention certificate ready without your utmost consent. 

This situation can also put the detained patient to still have his or her rights intact in detainment as stated in the Mental Health Act.

You can learn more about the Mental Health Act and its provisions by buying this book on this website. 

Compulsory Orders For Psychological Treatment Or Intervention

You will be placed under CTO if the mental health officer deems it obligatory for you to have a prolonged psychological intervention in accordance to your psychological complication. 

This officer will be talking to your namde person and discuss the rights you have and be able to pass the Tribunal. 

As mentioned before, the mental health officer will give you information about an independent advocacy service that can help you with your current situation.

This service will need to be acquainted to your legal team which will be set up by this officer.

If you are applied to CTO, your mental health officer will discuss this and what the patient needs to do at this time.

If the patient has communication complications, the officer will be providing you with a support person who can help in making you decide for your consent. 

In this case, the mental health officer is a supporter of your psychological needs in this situation.

You should see them as advocates who will represent you throughout this detainment situation and still meet the needs you need to be acquired.

Mental Health Officers Addressing Orders On Criminal Proceedings

If you are found to be obliged to represent yourself in criminal court, the mental health officer will be the representative of your mental health in court.

If you have detained due to a pre-trial assessment, this officer will be helping you in this process. 

Your mental health officer must make an SCR within 21 days and will ready a report for the court.

If you have been repeatedly demanded on a post-trial assessment, intervention or interim Compulsion Order this officer will be obliged to work with you. 

If you are made to comply with a Compulsion Order or Restriction Order, the mental health officer will be working with you and preparing a report after 21 days.

If you are considered to be eligible for the order of needing hospital treatment, this officer will help you in this process and assisting you. 

While the direction is reassessed by the legal team, the mental health officer will be working on your SCR report to get it passed within 21 days.

If you are found to be eligible for a Transfer Direction, this officer will also be assisting you in this process to help you move to another hospital. 

The opinion of the mental health officer will be sought by the legal team within 21 days of your creation of an SCR report.

This will permit you to not lose your credibility in court with the help of this officer. 

You can learn more about this kind of process in your criminal detainment by buying this book on this website.

Courses To Make You Eligible Mental Health Officers

Courses for mental health officers are standardized to the Mental Health Officer Award to help you learn what needs to be learnt in this kind of field and here are some topics that will be discussed: 

  • Mental Wellbeing and Mental Disorder Courses
  • Adults who are eligible for an Incapacity and Mental Disorder such as Offenders, Young People and Families.

With these kinds of courses, you will be able to practise the responsibilities of mental health officers that are stated in the act of proper care for these kinds of individuals in different settings that you might be assigned in such as correctional settings. 

You will start to take on the duties of what it means to be this kind of officer in taking care of any kind of person whether young or guilty.

This kind of session can give you a chance to practise the roles of these officers and be guided by the instructor.

In this case, you will get to get an insight into what to do like this kind of officer.

This kind of online and interactive course is offered by the Robert Gordon University Aberdeen which you can register here

You will be accommodated according to your schedule with this kind of online course.

You will be awarded a certificate to show that you are trained as this kind of officer.

Mental Health Officer In Sans Frontieres Group

The Sans Frontieres is a group of mental health officers and support workers that are helping out communities in this location.

The following are the roles you are expected to as an officer in this group: 

  • Doing a community mental health assessment or evaluation
  • Planning a mental health technique
  • Managing mental healthcare for a complete hospital/program
  • Providing care and emotional support for victims of sexual violence
  • Supporting groups of displaced people
  • Determining and managing protection concerns

The requirements of a mental health officer who is eager to serve the purpose of this group are the following:

  • Formal education and post-qualification in one of the following: Clinical Psychology, Counselling Psychology, Social work with extra psychological therapy qualification and training, Psychiatry with extra psychological therapy qualification and training
  • Recently licensed to practice one of the above areas with independent licensed clinical practice in them
  • Two year’s post-qualification experience of mental health office work
  • Experience working in the field of HIV/AIDS, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), sexual violence, Tuberculosis (TB) care and support, migrant complications, addiction
  • Experience in controlling and training mental health workers
  • Experience in the clinical supervision of others and treating trauma-related complications
  • Experience with emergency mental health/crisis interventions or treating crises
  • A second language preferring a knowledge of French which you can learn by buying this book here, Arabic, Spanish, Russian or Portuguese as optional knowledge to have
  • Able to work well as a member of a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary group
  • Willing to work in unmanageable locations and ability to deal in a complicated and unpredictable environment
  • Available and accessible for a minimum of nine to twelve months
  • Minimum of three months’ work, volunteering or travelling experience in developing countries which are occupied by people who need mental health services
  • Fluency in English​ which you can learn more about developing your English skills by buying this book here.

Your safety and security are ensured when you jin this group.

Mental Health Officer Jobs Available In Scotland

There are some vacancies which are opened up by businesses and charities who need mental health officers.

More information about these vacancies is available on the Total Jobs website. 

The following are some of the job vacancies that are looking for these officers:

  • Mental Health Officer / Social Worker in some businesses
  • On Call Mental Health Officer – Ayrshire Out Of Hours where you have to work 24/7
  • Social Worker (Adult Services) (Part Time) (Permanent) and you have to meet all of these requirements for work

There are other jobs for these officers on the mentioned website if you are interested in applying.


In this brief article, we have talked about mental health officer, the courses that can make you a mental health officer, the responsibility of a mental health officer, and more information about mental health officer.

If you have any questions about mental health officer, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your questions.

FAQs: mental health officer

What is MHO status?

MHO status is the award given to medical staff who were full-time or part-time for mental health services and even physical health services.

These mental health officers were given this kind of award for their devoted service to patients with mental complications.

When did mental health officer status stop?

The mental health officer status stopped in 1995 as new laws and plans were implemented.

The NHS Pension Scheme was the one who abolished this kind of awarding law.

However, amendments were made and the one who was given this kind of award was the mental health officer who has worked for 5 years.

Can nurses retire at 55?

Yes, nurses can retire at 55 since they have the rights and the law is supporting them to do so.

The usual pension is given to them when they retire despite being an early retirement in the health care force.

These kinds of nurses still retain their retirement benefits as regulated by the NHS.

What is NHS special pension?

The NHS special pension is a special class of pension in the NHS where the members are medical staff such as nurses and doctors and even mental health professionals.

These kinds of health professionals get to receive their pension scheme by the age of 60.

How many years do you need for NHS pension?

The years that you need for NHS pension are 10 years as stated in their regulations.

This is to let the NHS know that you have served the medical services needed by the people and have been consistent in your giving these kinds of services to these people who are in need.

Citations   The New Mental Health Act: A guide to the role of the mental health officer – Information for service users and their carers. The Role of the Mental Health Officer – Research Findings.

MSF. Mental health officer.

Totaljobs. 30 Mental Health Officer jobs in Scotland + 10 miles.