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22 Mental Health

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1. Introduction

2. What is the Mental Health Act for?

The Mental Health Act allows people with a 'mental disorder' to be:

  • detained (held, usually in a hospital); and
  • given treatment without their permission.

The term 'mental disorder' includes:

  • 'mental illness', which covers conditions such as schizophrenia and depression; and
  • 'any other disorder or disability of the mind'.

However, you can be detained under the Mental Health Act only if other conditions are met.

3. Who decides if I should be detained in hospital?

4. When can I be detained in hospital?

5. When can I be given compulsory treatment?

6. What treatment can I be given?

7. Who can discharge me from hospital?

8. What are my rights in hospital?

9. What if I am unhappy with my care and treatment?

10. Will I get help when I leave hospital?

11. What powers do the police have against people with mental health problems?

12. Mental health and The Human Rights Act

13. Terms used in mental health law

14. Further help

15. About this leaflet

This leaflet is published by the Gurkha Free Legal Advice (LSC). It was written in association with Camilla Parker, and independent consultant specialising in mental health law and policy.

The leaflets are regularly updated but the law may have changed since they were printed so the information in them may be incorrect or out of date.

Leaflet Version: January 2007

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