Article 6316 | Helping Mothers
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New Mom Fights Mental Health Act For Her Baby.

Some things that you would not contemplate happening, you also would not believe you would have to fight against.


A nightmare unfolds:

A nightmare situation happened to a mother who had only recently given birth, when the father decided to take their new born baby to live with him without her consent. The shock of the father’s actions left the mother dazed and wondering the streets of London looking for her son.

When the Police questioned the mother about the disappearance of her baby, the mother was too traumatised to effectively communicate. The Police contacted the community health and mental health specialists, who also tried to get the mother to communicate clearly, but the mother was still far too traumatised. The community health and mental health specialists took the decision to section the mother under ‘Section 2 of the Mental Health Act’ and she was taken to a mental health hospital.


The mother had entered through the doors of the mental health act

Later during that day, the mother began to slowly communicate to the staff that ‘her baby had been abducted’ by the father, however when this was investigated the father denied obducting his child.

The  mother was questioned by the chief psychiatrist and medical team during her first week at the mental health unit. The psychiatrist and medical team recommended that the mother should be transfered to a unit just for ‘Mother and child’, but the father of the baby would not give his permission for this transfer to take place.


The nightmare deepens:

Several weeks later the social services’ made an initial assessment of the situation and concluded that the baby was not in any immediate danger, because the baby was being cared for by the father’s parents, social services decided to temporarily leave the baby in the custody of the father, while the mother was being assessed by the mental health specialists.


The questions that this situation raises are:

* Was the mother suffering from trauma and post natal depression or mental illness?

* Is the mother a danger to her child?

* Why did the father deny his permission for the transfer to a unit just for ‘Mother and child’?

* Is the father trying to protect his child?

* Is the father’s actions in taking his child, actually abduction, and should he be charged with abduction?

* Is the father trying to take custody of his child using the Mental Health Act?

* Is the father trying to label the mother’s post natal depression as mental illness?

* Is the father trying to combine trauma and post natal depression, to induce mental illness in the mother?

* Where does post natal depression stop and mental illness begin?


All of these questions and more, need answers and should be explored.


How does a mother regain access to her baby?

Medical Staff Advice:

The mother suffered a lack of contact with her baby while undergoing assessment, because the father refused to give the mother access during his temporary custody. The medical staff advised the mother to get in touch with the Police, with the social services and to call a reliable lawyer to help her gain access, which she did and now has a lawyer.


The Police Advice:

The Police advised the mother that they did not have sufficient evidence of abduction against the father at this time. The Police advised the mother that she should seek legal advice through a lawyer, to try to get access to her baby from the father through the court system.


Social Services Advice:

Social Services advised the mother that her baby was healthy and that they could do nothing more except to arrange child visits for her. A few days after the mother got out from the mental health unit, the mother finally started to have arranged contact with her baby.


Regaining custody of her baby

The Court System:

The mother has had no choice but to take the father of her baby to court, in order to fight for the full custody of her baby to be restored to her. The mother’s legal fight is currently ongoing through the court system.


The steps that need to be taken by the mother

The mother is now trying to come to terms with these recent events, and she is taking the necessary legal steps to change the decisions made by those in authority. The mother’s priority is to get a her baby back and to get on with her life while providing for her baby.


What are the lessons that need to be learnt?

There are ‘Grey Areas’ in the assessment of a mother experiencing or suffering from trauma, post natal depression and/or mental illness, therefore it is difficult to determined if the correct assessment has been made or arrived at.

The reality is that we are living in a society where a person can so easily be labeled under the Mental Health Act by specialists who work within the Mental health system. These specialists can make decisions based on situational assessments and legislative guidance, which carries a potential immediate risk to your freedoms and liberty. The decisions by these specialists can so easily mean you are sectioned under the Mental Health Act, which can additionally cause and/or result in a person experiencing some of the most extreme difficulties and circumstances that an individual can face trying to prove that they are not mentally ill, the consequences of which can be the extended loss of personal freedom under the Mental Health Act or via other legislation.

The assessments by the specialists plus systems used, are designed to prioritise the protection of the child, which makes the rights of a mother secondary to the risk to the child. Any mistakes that are made during the sectioning and the assessment process, will make it even more difficult to correct assessments made, because of the administration processes and legal processes involved.

We all need to be aware of how potentially anyone’s behaviour can be incorrectly and/or legally perceived, leading to anyone being sectioned under the mental health act, especially when dealing with emotional conflicts and personal disputes. Always seek legal advice and professional advice when any dispute occurs or escalation happens.


How can we help other mothers?

This mother wishes to give whatever advice and support she can to help other mothers.

It is very common for new mothers who find themselves in the ‘Grey Area’ or ‘Blurred lines’ between suffering from trauma, post natal depression and/or mental illness. These individuals often feel lonely in such difficult situations and need support.

Any mother who is going through something as traumatic, or has gone through anything like this, needs to be understood, plus needs to understand and feel that they are not alone or isolated. There are thousands of mothers who are also suffering and they all need to know that they are not alone.

This mother’s journey to recover and reclaim her son and her life has just started.

We hope this article will help mothers and also inform you.


Coming soon are other articles in this series:


Posted by under Knowledge & Careers, Mind, Body & Soul

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