This book sets out to explore a range of issues as they affect the particular statutory responsibility of approved mental health practice. As editors, we agonized over how best to refer to this responsibility; it is undertaken in a range of countries and under a variety of Mental Health Acts; it involves statutory duties which differ, albeit slightly, and it also attracts different titles. We finally settled on the phrase approved mental health practice, which for us best captured the essence of ‘the doing’. Additionally, we know that the responsibility can be undertaken by a range of qualified professionals and, therefore, we decided to use the term approved mental health practitioner to refer to ‘the doer’. We acknowledge that our chosen terminology is closely matched with the role title, Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP), as it is currently known in England and Wales, and that while this might be the biggest readership, the proximity could have two consequences; first that the book will be perceived as being relevant only to this group — it is not — and, second, that individual authors and in turn the reader might conflate both, giving rise to confusion and irritation. We trust that our explanation and editorial stringency assuages both.
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