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The research explained on this website is carried out as part of a Law PhD at the Law School, University of Birmingham. This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership and have been approved by the University of Birmingham Humanities and Social Sciences Ethics Committee. The Research Team consists of Magdalena Furgalska (PhD Researcher), Professor Rosie Harding (Lead Supervisor) and Dr Emma Oakley (Supervisor). 

This research is interested in informing policy changes which are driven by the lived experiences of mental health and treatment of psychiatric survivors. It explores, in particular, the issue of Advance Consent for Mental Health Treatment. Advance Consent to Mental Health Treatment is a mechanism which allows people with psychosocial disabilities/mental health problems to make a request for treatment in advance of losing their ability to do so (for instance in advance of losing mental capacity). You may request a specific treatment, such as a medication to be given to you or you may wish to request a treatment in general.

This legal mechanism is not currently available in England & Wales, but is available in other places in the world, such as British Columbia (Canada), Austria, Germany or Netherlands to name a few. However, the issue of advance consent is currently on the law reform agenda in England & Wales. For example, the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983 (published in December 2018) considered the issue of advance consent (especially to confinement) in a considerable depth.

This research project is designed to privilege the lived experiences of psychiatric survivors. Any outcomes and recommendations will be based on people’s experiences of their mental health, treatments, opinions and attitudes.

If you are a psychiatric survivor, please explore this website (menu section above) and consider whether you think you could help to inform this research. If you know someone who is a psychiatric survivor please let them know about this research as they might wish to have their story heard!

I look forward to hearing from you!

***Please note that a psychiatric survivor in this research refers to persons aged 18 or over, who have experiences of receiving treatments for the following but not limited to: anxiety, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, depression, eating disorders, episodes of psychosis, schizophrenia.