UK Government announces mental health legislation in the Queen’s Speech

In today’s Queen’s Speech the UK Government has announced the overhaul of the Mental Health Act. It follows a recent review of the 1983 Mental Health Act by Sir Simon Wessely.

Her Majesty the Queen said: “My Ministers will continue work to reform the Mental Health Act to improve respect for, and care of, those receiving treatment.”

Speaking in The Express yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our mental health act is over 30 years old and needs to be brought into the 21st century. It’s vital that patients are given greater control and respect over their care all part of treating mental health with the same urgency as our physical health.

“There will always be occasions when detention under the Mental Health Act is the right approach, but our current laws have not seen any significant change for decades. This legislation is being carefully crafted with experts.

“Alongside wider reforms it will help to turn the tide and give patients a vital say in how they are treated. Any person living with acute mental illness or reaching crisis should feel that they are being listened to and that they are in control of their own treatment and future.”

Over the past year Welsh campaigner Jo Roberts has been speaking to service users and carers across Wales about what reforms they would like to see – read Jo’s Blog here – and Jo will comment shortly on the Government’s announcement.