Mental Health Law & the Mental Health Act 1983

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Many thanks for all the support, understanding and kindness that you have given to S and ourselves over many years. We appreciate all the hard work that you do.

Mental Health Law Client

Most people treated in hospital for mental health problems are treated on a voluntary (or informal) basis.

However about ¼ of patients on psychiatric wards are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (sometimes called being ‘sectioned’). We advise and represent people sectioned under the Mental Health Act.

When someone is detained, or sectioned, they are not free to leave hospital and they lose some of the rights that informal patients have.

One right patients detained under the Mental Health Act do have is the right to legal advice. We have many specialist lawyers who advise and represent people who are detained in hospital. We most commonly assist people who are detained under Section 2 and Section 3 of the Mental Health act 1983.The rights you have and the length of time you can be detained for vary depending on which section of Mental Health Act has been used to bring you into hospital.

Under Section 2, you can be detained for up to 28 days, but you may be released from hospital sooner. You are allowed to appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal against your detention within the first 14 days you are in hospital.

Under Section 3, you can be detained for up to 6 months. 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 solicitors can advise you about your appeal, and represent you at Tribunal hearings and Hospital Managers meetings. All of our mental health lawyers are experienced in Tribunal hearings and most are members of the Law Society’s Mental Health panel.


Mental Health Law News