The Mental Health Act: An Alternative Review from Hearing Voices England

The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act (MHA) was set up in 2017 to look at how the legislation in the Mental Health Act 1983 is used and how practice can be changed. It produced a report with recommendations for change in December 2018.

To coincide with the launch of the government’s report on its Review of the Mental Health Act, Hearing Voices Network, England have launched an alternative review.

HVN England believe this is important as the Mental Health Act has a profound impact on the lives of our members and supporters, many of whom have either been detained under the act, witnessed the detention of a loved one or lived under the threat of detention.

In view of serious concerns about the neglect of service user led groups within the review process, they conducted an event for over 100 of our members, coupled with a survey, to find out what changes they wanted to see. The report is the culmination of this process.

“The MHA and the Code of Practice should enshrine a rights-based approach. Reflecting the views of our membership, we recognise the need for short term detention (under 72 hours) in extreme circumstances. This should be understood as a grave decision of last resort, having exhausted all other options and should take place with the most stringent of safeguards. We call for an end to longer-term detention under the Mental Health Act in order to administer treatment, including forced medication. This can only take place alongside the implementation of a meaningful range of well-funded alternative mental health and social support.”

You can download the Executive Summary of the Alternative Review here

You can read more about the alternative review on the HVN England website here

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