Mental Health Act 1983

What the Mental Health Act 1983 means for you

If you have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act 1983 and are being kept in hospital, you have the right to receive legal advice. Our specialist lawyers can assess your case represent you.

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Mental Health Act 1983What is the Mental Health Act 1983?

The Act covers the assessment, treatment and rights of those with mental health disorders. If you are sectioned, sometimes referred to as detained, you have to stay in hospital so that your doctor and hospital staff can carry out the relevant assessment. An assessment will generally take up to one day.

How Long Can I be Detained?

Our Solicitors have experience in advising and representing people who have most commonly been detained under Section 2 or Section 3 of the Mental Health Act. The length of time that you can be kept in hospital depends upon which Section you have been detained.

If you have been detained under Section 2, you may be kept in hospital for up to 28 days, with the possibility of being released sooner. Section 2 involves an assessment and a form of treatment. You can appeal to the Mental health Tribunal within the first two weeks. The Tribunal hearing will hear evidence to determine the best course of action. You can find out more about this at our Mental Health Tribunal page. 

Under Section 3, you can be detained for up to 6 months if it is considered the best decision for your own safety. This can be renewed for another six months and then for a year at a time. You are allowed to appeal once during the first six months, again in the second six months, and then once per year. Under both Section 2 and 3 you also have the right to appeal against your detention to the Hospital Managers.

Our Mental Health and Capacity Specialists

Michael Kennedy Director & Barrister Switalskis

Michael Kennedy

Director & Barrister

Heather Matthews, Mental Health Solicitor, Wakefield

Heather Matthews

Associate Solicitor

Leesa Hullah

Senior Associate

Charlotte Bettney, Mental Health Solicitor, Wakefield

Charlotte Bettney

Associate Solicitor

How is Representation Funded?

In this area of work, Legal Aid is available, meaning that our team's work is of no cost to you and it is funded by the government.

How Can Switalskis Help Me?

Being detained without understanding of your rights or what is going to happen to you can be frightening for you and your family. That is why it is recommended that you use a solicitor who has experience in these kinds of cases and knowledge of the procedures. Our approachable and reliable Mental Health Solicitors can ensure that you have the best advice possible if you are being detained under one of the Mental Health Act 1983 sections.

Contact us now on 0800 1380 458 to talk to a Mental Health Solicitor and have your case assessed, or send us a message through our website.

What our clients say

"We really appreciate all your efforts and the positive outcome so far of your research and professionalism. You have picked up the baton at the eleventh hour when we were at our lowest point and abandoned by everyone else – thank you so much."

'GM' - Clinical Negligence Client

"I felt comfortable with Ruth and I trusted her. Ruth kept me up-to-date with every detail. I would strongly recommend Switalskis, and Ruth in particular."

'PL' - Clinical Negligence Client

"I would like to thank Jim Gladman and the Switalskis’ team for everything they did for me. A job well done."

'NM' - Medical Negligence Client

"Stephanie Kennedy was brilliant from start to finish."

Clinical Negligence Client

"I was extremely satisfied with how [Claire Garrity] dealt with my case. It was difficult for me and Claire guided me through with consummate skill."

'SH' - Clinical Negligence Client

"This was the first time I’ve had to use a Solicitor, I found [Samantha Spain] very professional and helpful. The experience was much easier and more pleasant than I had feared."

'TM' - Clinical Negligence Client