The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that the Mental Health Act will encounter prominent changes to support autistic people and those with mental health disorders.
These changes will help ensure mental wellbeing services receive the same attention and adequate support as physical health services, ultimately tackling mental health inequalities.
According to an independent review by Sir Simon Wessely, a British psychiatrist, an unbalanced amount of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities are detained each year under the Mental Health Act.
Black people, in particular, are “over 10 times more likely to be subject to a community treatment order” and “four times more likely to be detained”.
This review is what led the Mental Health Act to face improvements, including the following changes:
- Ensuring mental illness is the reason for detention under the act, and that neither autism nor a learning disability is grounds for detaining a person for treatment of themselves
- Expanding the role of independent mental health advocates to offer a greater level of support and representation to every patient detained under the act
- Implementing the right for an individual to choose a nominated person who is best to look after their interests under the act, if they aren’t able to do so themselves
- Improving access to community-based mental health support, including crisis care, to prevent avoidable detentions under the act
- Introducing statutory ‘advance choice documents’ to enable people to express their wishes and preferences on their care when they are well before the need arises for them to go into hospital
- Piloting culturally appropriate advocates so patients, from all ethnic backgrounds, can be better supported to voice their individual needs
Nadine Dorries, the Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention commented on the reforms; “we know people are too often disempowered and excluded from decisions, which is where the act and our ability to successfully support people often fails.”
We understand how this difficult time can harm people’s mental wellbeing. To find out more about our Personalised Care and Support Services, contact us today.
At Synergy Complex Care we specialise in providing high-quality home care for adults and children with Mental Health and other complex conditions.
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