With the closing of the large intuitions in the early 1990s and the rise of smaller units being set up within communities, the policy change ideology was for individuals who have a mental illness to live independent lives, and to learn skills to function within society. It was deemed that these vulnerable individual’s faced more risk from staff than what small risk they posed to others. ( k272, Reader, p.138). However if there was a need for intervention then there would be the power to detain that person against their wishes in hospital to ensure their safety and that of others. The Mental Health Act (1983) is the piece of statute law in the United Kingdom which allows this. This act is reviewed and regulated by the Mental Health Act Commission (MHAC). With this change in policy, there has been panic due to perceived risks which are faced by the public from individuals whom suffer mental distress. This has been reinforced by the media. (K272, Unit 14, p.40). These fears which the Public share are firstly exaggerated and are inaccurate with respect to the correlation between mental illness and violence. ( K272, unit 14, p.38, Start et al, 2004, ). Research has shown that self - harm and suicidal risk is much greater, than that of violence to the public, even though the media represents, it differently. (Mind, 2006).
Today risk management has become central to practice in Mental Health services. ( K272, Unit 14, p.13). The concept of risk is a difficult starting point has it can have different meaning to people and depends on its usage and content. ( K272, Unit 14, p.34). This has resulted in difference in services received. When the Care Programme Approach ( CPA), within England was set up there was no focus on risk. ( DOH, 1990). Now in mental health services there are two types of risk assessments which are