Mental Health Act

The Mental Health Act is a law that helps people with mental health difficulties get the right support and treatment.

It can mean someone is kept in hospital under a section of the act (often known as sectioned) or allowed to leave hospital under a community treatment order.

The nearest relative of someone under section has particular powers under the act. 

There are separate sections for people who come to hospital from court or prison.

Voluntary patients have chosen to be in hospital. They are also known as informal patients.

Ask a member of staff if have any questions, concerns or complaints about your section. 

You also have the right to free and confidential support from an independent mental health advocate (IMHA) if you are under section.

If you disagree with your section or want it to end, you can appeal.


More information and support

The main NHS website has information about the Mental Health Act, including easy read information and films.

For more detailed information visit either the Mind website or Rethink Mental Illness

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