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Report on the Key Themes from the Mental Health Act Survey

Independent Mental Health Act Review

Authors: Graham Durcan & Androulla Harris

In October 2017, the Prime Minister commissioned an independent review of the Mental Health Act (1983). An Independent Review Panel was tasked with appraising existing practice and evidence, and formulating recommendations to improve legislation and/or practice in the future.

An important part of the review has been the gathering of evidence from those who had direct experience of the Act, i.e. those who had been detained, those who were currently detained and those who were a carer for a person detained. This evidence was gathered in a number of ways, including focus groups, but this report gives the analysis for a survey that was facilitated by the Department of Health. The survey collected data both online and through hard paper copies.

The survey responses have provided important evidence that has helped the review make informed decisions about the priorities for the next phase. The survey is critical in demonstrating that the review has considered the experience and views of people with lived experience of being detained and those who care for them.

Centre for Mental Health, an independent charity, was commissioned to analyse the survey results.

This report presents key themes that have emerged from over 2,000 responses to the survey. The focus of this report is the desired changes and reforms that respondents expressed a view on, but it also features some the experiences of the Mental Health Act and being detained under section or caring for someone detained under section.