Mental Health Awareness Week 8 – 14 May

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This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and in recent days there have been numerous reports, articles and news items on the subject.The cricketer, Andrew Flintoff has talked about the word “stigma” not being used when discussing mental health issues.This follows on from a number of other cricketers last year talking about their own personal issues with mental health.

Furthermore, the Professional Footballers Association has reported that “more and more” players are seeking help from them. Sadly, Aaron Lennon of Everton Football Club has been recently detained under s.136 Mental Health Act, although he expected to make a quick recovery.

It is fair to say that mental health issues can affect anybody, and are by no means limited to the elderly, who are often perceived as the only ones that need to prepare Lasting Powers of Attorney.Such health issues do not discriminate on any basis and anybody could be affected during their lifetime.

Whilst not all issues will require any “legal” steps to be taken, this week is a good time to be raising the awareness of preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney and the importance that they have to enable a person’s affairs to be managed on their behalf, or decisions to be made, in circumstances where somebody is unable to make those decisions for themselves.

Now is the time, whilst you are in good health, to consider putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney and, just like an insurance policy, hoping it may never be needed!

It is only by preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney that you will be able to choose who should look after you and make decisions on your behalf, in circumstances where you are unable to make them yourself. It is also the best way to enable those closest to you to be able to act swiftly and in your best interests, without the delay and expense of having to apply to The Court of Protection for authority to act on your behalf.

Not everyone likes to consider these issues, but now is the time when it is important that the issues surrounding mental health, and what can be done if you are affected, to give it the proper attention it deserves.

For advice on Lasting Powers of Attorney or issues around mental capacity, please contact Richard Horwood, Head of our Private Client team.

Please note the contents of this blog are given for information only and must not be relied upon. Legal advice should always be sought in relation to specific circumstances.