Call to Action: Mental Health Act reform

A new report, which was released today (22nd June) by the Mental Health Alliance*, highlights major concerns that the Mental Health Act 1983 overlooks the dignity and human rights of people with mental illness.

The report published today, brought together results from a recent survey conducted by Rethink Mental Illness, through which 8000 individuals gave their views on the Mental Health Act. These individuals consisted of people with lived experience of mental health illnesses, their friends, families, carers and professionals. The results of the survey highlighted that the Mental Health Act 1983, a piece of legislation which sets out the legal framework for compulsory powers in England and Wales, is not fit for purpose. 

Susanna Hudson, Chair of the Alliance, said: "As it stands, the Mental Health Act is not fit for purpose, which is why we are urgently calling for the Government to stick to its promise to review it, and take into consideration the thousands of people who voiced their concerns in this survey."

Some of the many key issues that arose from the survey results were:

  • 49% of respondents disagreed that people are treated with dignity under the Mental Health Act
  • 50% said they would not be confident that their human rights would be protected under the Act if they were to be detained under it.

A comprehensive breakdown of the results of this survey can be found in the full agenda for reform.


*The Mental Health Alliance is a coalition which consists of over 65 organisations, who came together in 2000 to provide a focus for mental health campaigning. OCD Action is part of this coalition, as it is of upmost importance to us that we are a voice for those affected by mental ill health.