The role of the approved mental health professional requires the ability to make sound and ethical decisions based on knowledge of mental health issues, psychiatry and the law. Critical thinking and analysis are integral to the role, and practitioners need to be able to balance technical knowledge with the ability to reflect on their own, and the professional, value base. This much-needed text not only covers the core themes and issues pertaining to approved mental health practice, but also encourages readers to critically reflect on what makes best practice. The book begins by examining underpinning frameworks, including law, policy, and ethics, and goes on to assess current issues and challenges such as the experience of service users, the impact of space and place, and the need for evidence based practice. Drawing on the voices and perspectives of practitioners in the field, this book not only covers what professionals need to know, but also debates responses for an occupation in times of uncertainty and change.