The Mental Health Act 1983 is the main piece of legislation covering the assessment, treatment and rights of people with a mental health disorder. If someone with a mental health disorder requires urgent treatment, or if they represent a danger to themselves or others, they can be detained (known as being “sectioned”) under the provisions of the Act.
The manifesto acknowledges various problems with the current operation of the Mental Health Act, and this policy is a promise to introduce new legislation to rectify those problems and put mental health care on an equal footing with physical health care.
In December 2018, the review published its final report containing 154 recommendations. The government responded by announcing that it would introduce a new Mental Health Bill and accepted just two of the review’s recommendations.
This policy is a pledge to introduce a bill. The government has again promised to do that, but the first significant evidence of progress would be publication of a green paper or a white paper outlining the proposed legislation. There’s no sign of either yet.
We’re marking this as ‘in progress’. Once the bill is introduced, we’ll consider moving this pledge to ‘done’. But first, we’ll need to consult with independent organisations in the mental health sector as to whether the proposed changes to the law are likely to put “parity of esteem at the heart of treatment”. Follow this policy for developments.
Introduce yourself to the facts
- Mental Health Act 1983 – Gov.uk
- Modernising the Mental Health Act – Gov.uk
- Government commits to reform the Mental Health Act – Gov.uk
- Sectioning – Mind
- Mental Health Act Statistics, Annual Figures 2017-18 – NHS
- Community Treatment Orders – NHS
- Independent Review of the Mental Health Act – Gov.uk
- The independent review of the Mental Health Act: Interim report – Gov.uk
- Mental Health Act: your rights – easy read – NHS
- Mental Health Act – NHS
- A Mental Health Act fit for tomorrow – Mental Health Alliance