Review of the Mental Health Act

Future direction of mental health and incapacity legislation.  


Support for people with mental health conditions is to be strengthened through an independent review of the Mental Health Act.

The review aims to improve the rights and protections of those living with mental illness and remove barriers to those caring for their health and welfare.

The review will examine developments in mental health law and practice on compulsory detention and on care and treatment since the current legislation came into force in 2005.

A review group will also make recommendations that reflect people’s social, economic and cultural rights and will consider the future shape of incapacity, mental health and adult support and protection legislation.

This follows on from work already underway to review incapacity law and practice, and a review of learning disability and autism.

Announcing the review during a Parliamentary statement, Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey said:

“The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to bringing change to people’s lives and ensuring that mental health is given parity with physical health.

“This review of the Mental Health Act will take this a step further, reaffirming our commitment to creating a modern, inclusive Scotland which protects and respects human rights.

“The time is right to examine these issues so that our laws fully reflect our ambitions and the needs of those our laws are intended to support.

“As part of the review we want to gather views from as wide a range of people as possible and I am determined to ensure that the views of service users, those with lived experience and those that care for them are front and centre so they can help shape the future direction of our legislation.”


Review of Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003

More information on the chair of the review will be announced shortly.

It will be for the chair of the review to determine how the review is taken forward, but the views of those with lived experience of compulsory care and treatment and their families and representatives will be central to this work.

The Scottish Government Mental Health Strategy



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