Leading figures involved in the law, mental health and social work call on the government to ensure the detention of people with mental health problems is central to its promised review of current legislation

The increasing use of powers to detain patients with mental health problems is deeply disturbing. Reform of mental health legislation – announced in the Queen’s speech – must ensure respect for people’s rights and dignity. It must also incorporate robust, independent research into why rates of detention are increasing so rapidly and why people from some minority ethnic groups are so disproportionately the subject of detention measures. Too few people are able to access quality treatment and support when and where they need it. The root causes of the current mental health crisis – including societal factors such as poverty, addiction and austerity – must be properly investigated if we are to develop new legislation fit for our times.

The views of mental health service users and patients, their families, professionals and carers alongside a comprehensive assessment of community support and treatment options must be central to a credible review. Mental health underpins national...


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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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