New Welsh mental health law gets Royal Approval

The Mental Health (Wales) Measure will today gain Royal Approval, which means that Wales will have new mental health law – the first since the tenth century when King Hywel Dda made people with a mental illness exempt from paying fines.

The aim of the Measure is to:

  • provide mental health services at an earlier stage for individuals who are experiencing mental illness to reduce the risk of further decline in mental health;  
  • make provision for care and treatment plans for those in secondary mental health care and ensure those previously discharged from secondary mental health services have access to those services when they believe their mental health may be deteriorating;
  • extend mental health advocacy provision beyond that which is currently required.

Sue Barnes, National Service User Champion of the Welsh mental health charity Hafal, said: “Approval of the Measure is great news: it’s a historic moment for people with a mental illness and their carers in Wales.

“Patients and carers have told me that the main outcome they want from the Measure and regulations is the right to a comprehensive care plan for all people receiving secondary mental health services. If we do get a proper care plan we will have a transforming Measure which will put Wales ahead of other countries in the United Kingdom and beyond. It’s crucial that when the Measure’s regulations are drawn up they include a legal right to comprehensive care planning.”

To view the Measure, click here.