The Mental Health Act in your area

Click the map to find out more about the Mental Health Act in your area. Read about the results of our analysis below.

Our analysis of NHS Digital data reveals huge regional variation in the numbers of people detained under the Mental Health Act. In some areas almost three times more people are subject to the Act than the national average. Check out our interactive map to find out more.

The Mental Health Act is the law in England and Wales which governs when someone can be treated for a mental illness without their consent. Approximately 20,000 people are subject to the Mental Health Act in any given month.

In the last decade, there has been a 47% increase in detentions. Our data covers people “subject to” the Mental Health Act, which includes those who are held under the Act for their own safety or for the safety of others, also known as being “sectioned”.

Our data also covers those who are living in the community under Community Treatment Orders and people who have “conditional discharges” from hospital, for example, on the understanding the person takes their medication.

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