PANEL DISCUSSION: DO WE NEED A NEW MENTAL HEALTH ACT? (LEGAL LEARNING)

09.15-10.30


The government has launched a review of the Mental Health Act in response to concerns over the rising number of detentions and persistent ethnic inequalities in detention rates. Reactions to the review have emphasised how far there is to go in making the current system work properly. This panel discussion will explore:

  • Why detention rates under the Mental Health Act are going up and ethnic inequalities persist and how approved mental health professionals (AMHPs) and others can tackle this.
  • Current pressures on the mental health system, including lack of beds and alternatives to hospital admission, and how these can be eased.
  • The case for a new Mental Health Act and perspectives on what this should look like.
  • How best to improve the experience and uphold the human rights of people subject to mental health powers.

Speakers:

Professor Sir Simon Wessely, chair, independent review of the Mental Health Act 1983
Ruth Allen, chief executive, British Association of Social Workers
@Sectioned_, mental health and human rights tweeter, writer and speaker with lived experience of the compulsory powers of the Mental Health Act
Steve Chamberlain, chair, national AMHPs leads network
Mithran Samuel, deputy editor, Community Care (chair)

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