Campaigners give mixed response to government’s mental health announcement

Campaigners have given a mixed response today to government plans to amend the 1983 Mental Health Act rather than introduce a new bill.
The Mental Health Alliance, a coalition of 77 agencies which has campaigned against the bill, welcomed the decision to limit the use of compulsory powers to those who had already been subject to hospital treatment.
But it expressed concern about proposals to replace the “treatability test”, which requires there to be a therapeutic benefit before someone can be compulsorily treated, with a test which requires only that appropriate treatment be available.
“The lack of any provision for race equality or for independent advocacy in the government’s plans is also extremely worrying,” alliance chair Paul Farmer said.

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