Government announces steps towards a better Mental Health Act

17 June 2019

Responding to the Government’s announcement, Mark Winstanley, CEO of Rethink Mental Illness says:

“We welcome today’s announcement. It is another step towards a better Mental Health Act, replacing the obsolete Act of 1983. The success of the next prime minister will be judged in large part on whether they continue to move this forward and stop people needlessly being detained or losing rights just because they are unwell. 

 “More than 20,000 Britons are currently detained or restricted by the Mental Health Act, a piece of legislation that is badly outdated and no longer fit for purpose.  These recommendations, particularly those that focus on the treatment of people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, will make a genuine difference to people’s lives. We're also pleased at the commitment to publish a White Paper on the Act, as this brings us closer to genuine legislative change.

“Theresa May has taken a lead on mental illness. The mental health act review sits alongside the commitments in the NHS plan as definite step forward and, arguably, the most impressive achievements of her premiership. We hope the next prime minister will recognise this. However, he can be clear that those living with severe mental illness and their families, having waited decades for change, now want to see it carried through.”


For more information, please contact Patrick O'Brien on 0207 840 3024 or email