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Mental Health Act

The Mental Health Act is a law which tells people with a mental health disorder what their rights are and how they can be treated. The term "mental health disorder" is used to describe people who have:
• a mental illness
• a learning disability
• a personality disorder

Being detained (also known as sectioned) under the Mental Health Act is when you are made to stay in hospital for assessment or treatment. It is important that you know what happens to you when you are detained, what your rights are and where you can seek help.

The Mental Health Act Code of Practice tells everyone how to use this law and what they must do.

The leaflets found on the link below explain in detail what information you should get:
• if you are sectioned
• what health professionals should or shouldn't do
• what your rights and choices are

You can download or print out each leaflet. Ask someone you trust to explain anything that is unclear to you.

You can also take the leaflets to a mental health advocacy service. Advocacy services can help you express your views, support you in your rights, and help you make choices if you feel you need extra support.

Related Information

Related Factsheets

Service Definitions

Services providing advice and information relating to all aspects of mental health.
Psychiatric services relating to the study, treatment and prevention of mental disorders. Includes treatment and the prescription of drugs, by a medical doctor who specializes in human behavior.

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