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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2010): Mental health services - UK

Mental Capacity Act (England and Wales) 2005: the emergent independent mental capacity advocate (IMCA) service

M. Redley and others

British Journal of Social Work, vol. 40, 2010, p. 1812-1828

The Mental Capacity Act (England and Wales) 2005 introduced the Independent Mental Capacity Advocate service to ensure that the views of adults who lack capacity to make potentially life-changing health and social care decisions are represented to substitute decision-makers. This paper presents quantitative and qualitative data from an evaluation of the pilot IMCA service that preceded the launch of this new form of advocacy. The findings suggest that in more than half of the decisions completed during the pilot clients were able to provide some indication of their wishes.

Money or mental health: the cost of alleviating psychological distress with monetary compensation versus psychological therapy

C. Boyce and A. Wood

Health Economics, Policy and Law, vol. 5, 2010, p. 509-516

Money is the default way in which intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, are currently valued and compensated in law courts. Economists have suggested that subjective well-being regressions can be used to guide compensation payouts for psychological distress following traumatic life events. This article brings together studies from law, economic, psychology and medical journals to show that alleviating psychological distress through psychological therapy could be at least 32 times more cost effective than financial compensation. This result is not only important for law courts but has important implications for public health. Mental health is deteriorating across the world - improvements to mental health care might be a more efficient way to increase the health and happiness of our nations than pure income growth.

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