New Home Office Mental Health Guidelines for Background Checks

New Home Office Mental Health Guidelines for Background Checks

New guidelines by the Home Office will make clear all factors that have to be considered before any mental health cases are considered in background checks, especially for those who are applying to work with vulnerable groups like children.

This follows a review last year, which found that information was lacking about detention. Now, the police will have to examine issues such as a person's behaviour and whether detention under the Mental health Act should be included.

The guidance states that detention itself is unlikely to be sufficient for disclosure, the person's behaviour must be a key consideration, and the date of the incident. If any information is indeed disclosed then the certificate should have full details so the employer has all data at hand.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said: “The nature of the current process means that people who are perfectly able to do a job may be unnecessarily excluded because of a lack of clarity about what should and shouldn’t be disclosed. There is no reason why having a mental health problem or having been previously detained under the Mental Health Act should necessarily be a red flag when it comes to DBS checks."

In the past, campaigners have suggested that a lack of clarity has caused many people to be excluded from posts. Mr Farmer did suggest, however, that there is still "room to go further".  The aim of this move is to make a much fairer system without damaging protection. This way, workers will not feel so stigmatised, as their medical history will not be flagged to their employers.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recently stated that teenagers that suffer from major depression or bipolar disease have an increased risk of heart disease.

Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.