The Big Question

What do you think of the government’s decision to drop the Mental Health Bill?

Angie Lawrence – Single mother
My main concern with the government abandoning the bill is that there is nothing else that is sufficient to deal with detaining dangerous psychopaths. Although I agree with concerns about
the human rights of mentally ill people, the government should still give this bill a chance because it affects many people’s lives.

Kerry Evans – Parent of two severely autistic sons
I would be worried about any mental health legislation that detains people purely for having any kind of personality disorder. Often detention can be avoided by providing good social care, housing and training opportunities. I would be inclined to think detention is a cheaper option than providing adequate support.

Jaya Kathrecha – Carer
It was the cruellest of bills which would have affected the human rights of people with a mental illness and the way they were going to be treated. It would have left carers in a difficult situation
with, in effect, two courts of appeal to deal with if they wanted to challenge a sectioning decision. It would also have made it harder to define exactly what a carer is.

Karen Shook – Disability equality adviser
It was an ill-conceived piece of legislation. It is difficult to offer services for people with mental health problems because each person is different. The bill was put together soon after headlines
about “psycho schizophrenics”. There really needs to be a balance, but the problem is that services kick in too late.


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