Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 

A review is underway to consider and make recommendations on improving legislation and practice around the Mental Health Act. The review was set up to look at how the legislation in the Mental Health Act 1983 is used and how practice can improve. The purpose of the review is to understand the reasons for:

  • Rising rates of detention under the Act
  • The disproportionate number of people from black and minority ethnic groups detained under the Act
  • Processes that are out of step with a modern mental health care system

The review will seek the views of service users, carers, relevant professionals, and affected organisations in producing recommendations. It will produce a report with recommendations for change in autumn 2018.

There are several ways in which you can contribute to the review:

  • Apply for membership of the Service User and Carer Group – see details below (note the deadline is Monday 8 January 2018)
  • Respond to the Call for Evidence – see details below (deadline is Monday 22 January 2018)
  • Attend a focus group or encourage responses to the survey for those with experience of detention under the Act or their carers – details to be announced

Find out more at

Service User and Carer Group

The Independent Review of the Mental Health Act is seeking mental health service users and carers to join its Service User and Carer Group.  This group will discuss issues of concern about the Act and offer recommendations for solutions. The group will also advise the review team on how best to engage with service users and carers and will be involved in contributing to and considering the final recommendations of the review in 2018.

The group will reflect a range of backgrounds and experiences and applications are sought in particular from people who have been detained under the Mental Health Act or who have cared for someone who has been detained.

Members will be expected to join an introductory phone call and attend a meeting of up to 2 hours in London in both January and February 2018. The group will also meet in the review’s second phase after March 2018, and members will be expected to commit to at least 2 further meetings in London. There may also be opportunities for members to attend events across the country during the review.

Members will be reimbursed for their time and expenses.

To apply, please complete the application form

The closing date for applications is midday, 8 January 2018.

Find out more at (you will need to scroll down the page)

Call for Evidence

The review team are most interested in evidence that makes the case that a particular aspect of the Act is in need of reform. The primary aim is to gather evidence that has already been produced, but the team will consider all submissions on their merits.

They are particularly keen to receive evidence that is unlikely to show up in a review of academic journals. This could be reports by advocacy organisations, local service evaluations and internal data analysis.

They are interested in evidence relating to the terms of reference, but also welcome evidence relating to wider issues with the Act and associated practice. Please include a short description of why you think it is important, and highlight the most relevant content.

Please submit any evidence to [email protected] using the subject ‘Call for evidence submission’. Please also copy in FaithAction to your response!

The closing date for submissions is midday, 22 January 2018.