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Mental health

Mental health officers

Who are we?

We are social workers qualified for over two years who have completed specialist training to be mental health officers.

We can only be employed by a Scottish Local Authority under Section 32 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003.

Mental health officers must comply with the National Standards for Mental Health Officer Services provided by local authorities in partnership with health.

What do we do?  

Representation and advocacy

If you are detained under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, we help ensure that you have access to legal representation and advocacy as well as access to other safeguards.

Assessments and reports

Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland (MHTS)

We provide statutory reports and applications to the Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland (MHTS). These applications include Compulsory Treatment Orders.

On the website, there is information about the full range of orders as well as helpful ‘Topic Guides for service users and carers’.


We carry out assessments and reports for the Court for people who live in North Lanarkshire, mainly to Airdrie Sheriff Court and Hamilton Sheriff Court under the Adults With Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000, including reports for local authority and private welfare guardianship applications.

We provide assessments and statutory reports to the Sheriff Courts for mentally disordered offenders.

This may include supervisory responsibility if you are subject to statutory orders such as a Compulsion Order with a Restriction Order.

We have other duties in relation to the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 which gives the Court powers to ensure you receive care and treatment under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003.

Staff and partner agencies

We provide support for health and social care staff and partner agencies.

This includes information on mental health issues and guidance as to possible interventions including advice whether statutory intervention may be necessary or appropriate if a person is at risk through the Mental Health (Care and Treatment)(Scotland) Act 2003, the Adults With Incapacity(Scotland)Act 2000 or the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland)Act 2007.

Warrants for entry

We can obtain warrants for entry by applying to a Sheriff or Justice of the Peace if you are at risk at home and may require assessment and treatment in hospital or at home.

24-hour availability and access

We provide a service with 24-hour availability and access in the event of crisis and need for emergency assessment for treatment in hospital or at home.

How to get support

The mental health officer service is a professionals-only referral service.

If there is an emergency you should contact the emergency services provided by the NHS or the police by dialling 999.

If you need to speak with someone but it is not an emergency, we recommend contacting services like your GP, contact the local social work office or use the links to other agencies, found elsewhere on this page.

Where are we?

Our service in North Lanarkshire consists of two teams aligned across six localities:

  • North (Coatbridge, Airdrie and Cumbernauld)
  • South (Bellshill, Motherwell and Wishaw).

Contact your local social work office for more information.

An on-call mental health officer can be contacted via the Social Work Emergency Service 0800 121 4114 if such an assessment is required by a health professional outwith normal office working hours.

Linking with other organisations

We work in close collaboration with other mental health professionals in the localities, including consultant psychiatrists, community psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and psychologists.

Also, we work in partnership with a range of other agencies to provide the best quality service possible if you have a significant mental health problem.

Such local agencies include the Addiction Recovery Team and NHS Lanarkshire (NHSL).

On a national level, our role can include working together with partners such as:

Page last updated:
14 Feb 2024

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