Watch: Mental Health NGO call for investigation into patient admission

The Alliance for Mental Health (A4MH) is calling for investigations to be held into the handling of a patient’s admission into Mount Carmel Hospital.

The A4MH have sent letters to the Chief of Police Governance Board, Mental Health Commissioner and CEO of Mount Carmel Hospital, to ascertain if the ‘all procedures as established by the Mental Health Act’, were followed correctly during the admission of a patient named as Mr Mario Portelli.

Portelli had become known for spreading videos on social media, one in which he says the Prime Minister lied during his testimony on the Egrant company. Portelli posted a video yesterday, showing him being arrested by police for trying to confront Joseph Muscat on Sunday.

Responding to the news, Partit Demokratiku uploaded a video message to their social media from their leader Godfrey Farrugia. Farrugia says that although they cannot comment on the allegations made by Portelli, he brought into question, the police’s following of mental health guidelines.

Both Farrugia, and A4MH, have both insisted that the police cannot admit someone into Mount Carmel Hospital without having the consent of the doctor, under ‘stringent requirements laid down by law through the Mental Health Act (Cap 525).’ If the patient is involuntarily admitted, the police would need two signatures: that of a doctor and a social worker, or a relative of the patient.

In concluding their statement, the PD says that if a citizen makes libelous statement, they can expect to be sued. If they make accusations, they must be prepared to present evidence, the police has a duty to investigate, they said. Farrugia also recalled that the Mental Health Commissioner can act if it is found that the police have not acted properly.

A4MH is an organization composed of professionals in the mental health field, like Richmond Foundation, the Association for Mental Health, the Maltese Psychiatric Association, and even the Maltese Association for Psychiatric Nurses.