Response to new report from the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act

04 April 2019

Danielle Hamm, Associate Director of Campaigns and Policy at Rethink Mental Illness said,

“This landmark review confirms what we have long known: that there are serious problems with the Mental Health Act. People who have been detained under the Act have been telling us how it fails to protect their rights and dignity, and how they are kept out of decisions about their own care. Today is an important validation of this and a much needed call to action.

“In recent years we have seen a welcome increase in mental health awareness. However, the rising tide hasn’t lifted all boats. The review makes clear that those severely affected by mental illness, such as people living with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, who are more likely to be held under the Act, have been dramatically underserved.

“We will continue to work closely with the review, which must keep listening to the voices of people who have been detained under the Act, as well as their families and friends. How we treat, support and care for people experiencing severe mental illness has long been a reflection of whether we are a just and compassionate society.

"We want to see a Mental Health Act that puts the person front and centre, ensuring they are listened to, informed and able to a have a real say in what is happening to them.

"The review's interim report has clearly set out the need for change and it should be required reading for politicians, whose task now must be to commit to reform this important but outdated legislation.”