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Response to the Mental Health Act Review and Consultation

Over two years has now passed since the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act made a series of recommendations to Government to overhaul this outdated legislation which allows people with mental health problems to be held against their will (‘sectioned’) in certain circumstances. The Government has now published its White Paper and opened a public consultation process for people to give their views on reforms to the Act.

The White Paper contains changes that should strengthen people’s rights, including:

  • Giving legal weight to people’s choices and preferences about their care and treatment.
  • Choosing which family member or friend is given particular rights to be involved in their care.
  • Providing culturally appropriate advocacy and a wider range of support from advocates to better help people from a range of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds to express their thoughts and wishes about the care they receive.
  • More opportunities for tribunals to discharge people, scrutinise and make certain changes to their care.

It’s really important that people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act, as well as their loved ones, feed into the consultation, by giving their views to help shape its reform and make sure nobody is else is subjected to appalling treatment going forward. Some communities – particularly Black men – are far more likely than white counterparts to be held against their will under the Act, often subjected to humiliating and life-threatening practices like physical and chemical restraint. That’s why it’s crucial the Government hears from people from different Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups, to make sure any changes work equally well for people from different cultural backgrounds, as well as taking steps to identify, address and tackle underlying and systemic racism that results in disproportionate detentions and use of force.

To take part in the consultation you can click the link below and respond online.

Take part in the consultation by clicking the link below

Consultation Link