The dramatic increase in the number of people being detained
under the Mental Health Act 1983 shows that mental health services
“are driven by fear”, leading mental health
organisations warned, writes Katie
Department of health figures reveal that the number of men
detained under the act has increased by 40 per cent over the last
decade, and the number of women by 19 per cent.
Mental Health Alliance chairperson Paul Farmer warned that the
situation could grow worse: “As it stands, the
government’s draft mental health bill is likely to
significantly increase the use of compulsory powers.”
Rethink’s head of policy and campaigns Paul Corry said
that the government’s programme of investment in improving
mental health services must be accelerated.
“We know that one in three people are turned away from
services when they seek help. People are often left to become so
ill that they find themselves under a compulsory detention order
when early intervention could have prevented this traumatic
experience,” he said.
There were 13,500 patients detained in hospital at the end of
March this year, with 1,200 in high security psychiatric hospitals,
10,400 in other NHS facilities and 1,900 in private mental nursing