Rethink Mental Illness responds to new Mental Health Act figures

29 October 2019

Alex Kennedy, Head of Campaigns and Public Affairs at Rethink Mental Illness, has responded to today’s publication of Mental Health Act statistics by NHS Digital:

“New figures from NHS Digital today show an estimated 2% rise in the number of detentions under the Mental Health Act 1983. This increase means more people are being treated for a mental illness without their consent – potentially being subject to forced medical treatment, coercion and a lack of choice about their care.

Black or Black British people are detained at over four times (306.8 detentions per 100,000 population) the rate of white people (72.9 per 100,000 population).

"The Mental Health Act does save lives but it is out of date. A White Paper to modernise the Act has been promised by the end of the year – but if an election is called before that is published, it is vital we see a commitment to implement the Wessely Review in all party manifestos, alongside sufficient capital funding to upgrade mental health units.”

For more information contact the Rethink Mental Illness media team on 0207 840 3138 or