Rethink Mental Illness publishes new report on experiences of detention under the Mental Health Act

09 October 2023

Read the full report here.

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

"Being detained under Mental Health Act shouldn’t mean that you lose your dignity or the chance to have a say in your care and treatment. However, our new report on people’s experiences of being detained under the Act shows that all too often this is the case.

"Our research found that there is a feeling that detention under the Mental Health Act takes a standard, ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach with little focus on the individual needs and circumstances of people who are detained.

"Many people described their experiences with the Act as similar to being imprisoned rather than being cared for, and one person even described how they had to ‘earn’ back their shoes while detained. Is this how we want to treat people who are unwell?

"We believe that choice, involvement and control are vital principles that should be at the heart of the care people get. 

"We’ll be working hard to make sure that the ongoing Independent Review of the Mental Health Act recognises these issues, and pushes for real change to this out of date legislation. We will also be working with healthcare staff on the ground to help improve practice."