Last summer, Rethink Mental Illness, along with members of the Mental Health Alliance, conducted the largest survey into the 34 year old Act. The message from the research was clear: the Act is no longer fit for purpose and there is a growing need for it to be reformed.
The research, the first of its kind, includes the views of over 8000 people who use mental health services, carers, and professionals working in the field. Half of those who responded did not think that people are treated with dignity and respect under the Mental Health Act.
Key findings from the survey, which was developed, disseminated and analysed by Rethink Mental Illness on behalf of the Mental Health Alliance, showed that:
- 49% of respondents felt that people are not treated with dignity under the Mental Health Act
- 50% said that they would not be confident that their human rights would be protected under the Mental Health Act if they were detained under it
- 72% disagreed that the rights of people living with mental illness are protected and enforced as effectively as those for people living with a physical illness
- 86% of respondents felt that it was very important that people be allowed to specify people close to them to be involved in decisions.
Read the full report here