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Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP)

Mental health professionals with additional training and qualifications to exercise functions under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended). Their functions can include helping to assess whether a person needs to be compulsorily detained in hospital without their consent (‘sectioned’) as part of their treatment.

Prior to the implementation of the Mental Health Act 2007, they were known as ‘Approved Social Workers’. They are no longer required to be social workers, and the role can now be undertaken by other professionals such as community psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists or psychologists (although the vast majority of AMHPs remain social workers).