Tag Archives: mental health act 1983

Depression, Section 136 and a Senedd Candidate

Recently reading that nearly 5 people every day were sectioned across Wales during 2020 really had an effect on me. I decided to stand for election because of my experience not only in the business world but because I am one of those detentions by the police under section 136 of the 1983 mental health act.

The night I lost all rights and became a individual protected by the state for my own safety and society, will remain with me for my entire life. Police collected me following my family contacting them and I was driven to the nearest hospital, and was held there for my own protection. I was in my late twenties at the time and had never expected myself to reach the point of crisis as I did. I don’t think anyone thinks they will reach that point.

The six police officers that evening were angels, and deserve every commendation for the actions they carry out as part of their duties. I wish my mental ill health had not got to the point where I needed the state to intervene, but I can’t go back so must fight for change so that someone else doesn’t reach that point.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments

My view on our conference motion to end discrimination in mental health care

The problem with conference is that it is impossible to get to everything! I was hoping to speak on Sunday morning in our debate on the policy motion entitled, “Ending Discrimination In Mental Health Provision”. Regular readers of LDV know that mental health policy is an area I feel strongly about, so I am gutted I can’t get there due to a conflict.

 So I’ll blog my speech instead…

Currently, in our country if you are someone without a mental disorder you have an absolute right to refuse medical treatment or refuse to be detained for medical purposes.

However, if you have a mental disorder or have learning difficulties you lose that right and can be detained and treated under the Mental Health Act 1983 without giving consent.

As the charity Mind has pointed out, anyone with capacity who does not have a mental disorder should not be involuntarily detained. Forcibly detaining someone based on disability is completely discriminatory and should be stopped. As this motion says in lines 17-18, such detentions are in breach of the UN Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities.

I am particularly concerned that the Mental Health Act 1983, as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007, justifies the involuntary detention of those with learning difficulties whose behaviour is “abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible”. Behaviours in those with learning difficulties often have unrelated causes (sensory overload, for example), so understanding the cause of such behaviour, and treating the underlying symptoms is what is needed, not involuntary detention.

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MPs with mental illness will no longer be automatically disqualified

The government announced today the repeal of a law which automatically expels MPs from Parliament if they have a serious mental health condition.

This morning on Daybreak TV, Nick Clegg spoke about the abolition of Section 141 of the Mental Health Act 1983:

Today we are announcing that we are repealing an old-fashioned outdated law which means that MPs at the moment are disqualified from being MPs if they have a mental health problem which goes on for more than six months.

We are scrapping that – it is a relatively symbolic thing because it has never been used – but

Posted in Election law, News and Parliament | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments
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