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13 Jan 2021

SANE Comment on Reforming the Mental Health Act

Please find below comment from Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, on the Reforming the Mental Health Act White Paper:

“What is staggering is that 30 years ago, over ninety per cent of patients in psychiatric hospitals were voluntary while today almost fifty per cent have had to be deprived of their liberty because either they have become too ill or there has been no other option for them to have treatment.  

“SANE welcomes this White Paper, particularly proposals for greater involvement of families. But we urge the Government to make the major investment still needed in inpatient beds, community services and the mental health workforce so that people whose mental health is deteriorating can be helped before they reach crisis point and the Mental Health Act has to be used. Only in this way can the proposed reforms be truly achieved.

“Most important, the ambition of individual choice and control cannot be met while services are so impoverished and there is limited access to treatments and therapies.”

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