We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

The New Mental Health Act: An Easy Read Guide

Listen

01 What is the Mental Health Act all about?

This is the new law which says how you can be treated if you have a mental disorder. It also says what your rights are.

Mental disorder are the words used in the law to describe someone who has

  • A mental illness
  • A learning disability
  • A personality disorder

Cartoon illustration to support information

The new law says:

  • when you can be given treatment even if you do not want it
  • when you can be taken into hospital even if you do not want to
  • what your rights are
  • how your rights are protected.

What does the new law say about my rights?

The people who give you care and treatment should listen to:

  • your views about your care and treatment.
  • what you said about your care and treatment in the past.
  • what some other people think about your care and treatment.
  • your carers
  • named person (someone you can choose to look out for you if you have to have treatment. They help decide about your care and treatment)
  • guardian (someone appointed by the court to make decisions for you if you are unable to decide for yourself)
  • Welfare Attorney (someone you choose to decide about your care and treatment if you become ill and cannot decide for yourself)

Cartoon illustration to support information

The people who give you care and treatment should tell you about:

  • your care and treatment
  • any choices you can make
  • what they think will work best for you
  • any help which you or your carer can get.

They must make sure that:

  • They know as much as possible about you and your life
  • You are treated as well as possible
  • If you have to be held for treatment it is for the shortest time needed
  • You have care as long as you need it