Mental Health Act 1983 - About
This section gives information on:
What is the Mental Health Act?
The Mental Health Act says when you can be taken to hospital, kept there, and treated against your wishes. This can only happen if you have a mental disorder that puts you, or others, at risk.
You should only be detained under the Mental Health Act if there are no other ways to keep you, or others, safe.
Being detained under the Mental Health Act is sometimes called being ‘sectioned’, because the law has different sections.
Your rights under the Mental Health Act depend on which section you are detained under.
This section does not cover criminal law sections. You can click on the following to find more information about them:
What is a mental disorder?
You can only be detained if you have a ‘mental disorder’. The Mental Health Act does not say exactly what can be classed as a ‘mental disorder’. So, when they’re using the Mental Health Act, health
professionals will decide if someone’s mental health meets this definition.
You cannot be detained for drug or alcohol addiction. But you can be detained if alcohol or drugs cause mental health problems. For example, if you have delusions because of using cannabis.
You can find more information about ‘Drugs, alcohol and mental health’ here.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays