Protocol for getting sectioned while doing advocacy
This protocol is a draft. It has not yet been accepted as protocol and may be incorrect or poorly cited. Please do not use this in your work until it has been accepted.
Please see #protocols on Slack to discuss this protocol further.
This is the protocol for if a police officer tries to invoke section 136 on an advocate. You should also read the protocol for dealing with a section 136
When to get sectioned while doing advocacy
You should not get sectioned while doing advocacy.
You can get sectioned if it will benefit the person significantly you're supporting at a low risk to yourself.
What to do before getting sectioned while doing advocacy
You should not get sectioned while holding substances or items that could result in your arrest. Please see protocol for packing an advocacy bag.
You should make sure the person you're supporting has other support, is already sectioned or about to be, or is well clear of the situation.
You should try and leave without getting sectioned.
How to get sectioned while doing advocacy
(the shoulds below are not binding but are certainly the safest way through any interaction with police)
You should answer no comment to all questions.
You can identify yourself as an advocate if you wish.
You can describe yourself or the person you are caring for as "not a risk to themselves or others".
You should not discuss any further information with the police.
Police may attempt to search you, or similar- they can only search for items that could be used to harm yourself or others, and only your mouth, outer coat, jacket or gloves can be searched. Section 32 of PACE does not apply, and the search is limited to this.
You must not breach the person you're caring fors confidentiality, which means you must not further discuss their condition with the police- their name, description, etc, whether you are in contact with them, where they are likley to go, etcetera. You should answer no comment if asked about this.
You should ask to discuss your situation with paramedics that arrive out of earshot of police. You can disclose anything you wish to paramedics about your own situation, but should not discuss any information about the person you're supporting without their consent.
You can discuss as much as you wish with a psychiatrist in your acessment- to be released quickly you should present as being confident in your mental health(and be open about any normative parts), show that you are not a risk to yourself or others, emphasise your professionalism and calmness. Your buddy or another advocate should act as your advocate.
What to do after getting sectioned while doing advocacy
You can eat comfort food, and do relaxing things.
You should take a day off following this incident.
You must do a debreif