This factsheet 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 take you to a place of safety using section 136 to assess you for a mental illness. This is known as being ‘sectioned’.
- 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 from one place to another.
- Doctors can keep you on this section for up to 72 hours. During this time, mental health professionals may do a Mental Health Act assessment with you. This will see if you need to be in hospital because of your mental health.
- After your assessment you may leave hospital or you may stay under a section of the Mental Health Act.
- You have rights under this section. You can get legal advice, ask the police or hospital to tell someone where you are and get mental health treatment.
This section covers:
- What professionals might I come across?
- When do professionals use this section?
- How do professionals use this section?
- How long will I be on this section?
- What are my rights?
- Can doctors treat me if I don’t want it?
- What might happen after this section?
These pages are created by Rethink Mental Illness' Advice and Information Service. Last reviewd August 2015 next Review August 2017.
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