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‘You lose your human rights’: Mental Health Act usage up by 12%

“When you’re sectioned under the Mental Health Act, you not only lose your voice, but you lose your human rights too”, Kelly a 47-year-old from Surrey tells The Independent.

After experiencing a mental health crisis in 2019, Kelly was subject to a “traumatic” detention under the Mental Health Act, during which she says she was “criminalised” for being unwell.

Kelly’s story comes as a new analysis of NHS data has revealed the number of people detained under the Mental Health Act increased by 12% in December 2021 compared to the 12 months prior.

Major charity Mind, which carried out the analysis, has called for promised reforms to the Mental Health Act to be implemented after recommendations following a major review published in 2019.

According to the analysis, the number of people subject to detention under the mental health act increased from, 10,760 in December 2020 to 12,013 December 2021.

Speaking with The Independent Kelly, who has had several experiences of being detained under the Mental Health Act, described her most recent experience in 2019 as “very traumatic.”

She said: “I had a very public breakdown near where I live. I had neighbours on the phone to the ambulance, and I had, you know, warrants for a psychiatrist or social worker and to enter my property. To have people invade your privacy like that, and to have a warrant to enter property, it’s almost like they’re criminalising you because you’re unwell.

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Source: The Independent, 21 March 2022


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