Mass lobby of MPs planned over mental health reform

More than 1,500 people are expected to lobby MPs over the draft
mental health bill in October, following the decision to cancel a
march that was due to take place this month.

The march, which was organised by the Mental Health Alliance, a
coalition of more than 50 organisations concerned about the mental
health proposals, has been called off in light of the recent events
in Soham.

MHA chairperson Paul Farmer said the majority of members felt
that the risks to participants of going ahead were too high.

“Fears were expressed that the alliance could not guarantee the
health and safety of march participants in the atmosphere of
misunderstanding of people with mental health problems in the wake
of events in Soham,” he said.

The lobby will come after the end of the bill’s consultation
period on 16 September, but before the government decides whether
to push the bill through parliament in the Queen’s Speech,
which is expected in November.

A lobby over the proposals for mental health reform that was
held in June 2000 attracted over 2,000 participants.

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