Section 136 - police taking you to a place of safety from a public place
This section looks at section 136 of the Mental Health Act. It gives information on the professionals you might come across, when this section is used, how it is carried out, what your rights are and what could happen afterwards.
- The Mental Health Act is the law which can be used to admit you to hospital for assessment and/or treatment for a mental illness.
- The police can use section 136 of the Mental Health Act to take you to a place of safety when you are in a public place. They can do this if they think you have a mental illness and are in need of care.
- A place of safety can be a hospital or a police station. The police can move you between places of safety.
- The police can keep you under this section for up to 72 hours.
- During this time, mental health professionals can arrange a Mental Health Act assessment for you. This will look at if you need to be in hospital because of your mental health.
- After being assessed, you might be sectioned using the Mental Health Act, or nothing further might happen and you could be free to leave.
- You have rights while under this section, such as getting legal advice, the police or hospital telling someone where you are and getting treatment from a healthcare professional.
Last reviewed in August 2013. Next review August 2015.
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