Coronavirus Act 2020 – Temporary changes to the Mental Health Act

Coronavirus Act 2020 – Temporary changes to the Mental Health Act

The Coronavirus Act 2020 has been introduced by the government to put legislation in place to help in dealing with demands caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

This emergency legislation means that some temporary changes have been made to the Mental Health Act due to concerns that Covid-19 will reduce the number of mental health professionals able to help those in need of mental health support.

Responding to the Covid-19 legislation changes, Opportunity Nottingham Clinical Psychologist, Anna Tickle, said:

'The changes will only be bought in if staff numbers are severely reduced. If bought in, the key changes are that less doctors will be needed to approve somebody being detained in hospital and treated without their consent, and an individual can be held for longer than usual in hospital. 

It is likely that mental health staff will be working hard to avoid people being admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act because of risks associated with Covid-19. However, it is important that you, your family and / or support workers are aware of the changes and your rights if you are at detained or at risk of being detained. Rethink and Mind both have useful information on the changes and your rights'.

Useful information

MIND:

About the Mental Health Act 1983: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/legal-rights/mental-health-act-1983/about-the-mha-1983/

Infoline: 0300 123 3393 - Open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
Email: info@mind.org.uk
Text: 86463
Post: Mind Infoline, PO Box 75225, London, E15 9FS

Mind's Infoline provides an information and signposting service. You can get help with mental health problems, where to get help near you, treatment options and advocacy services.

RETHINK:

Rethink – Changes to the Mental Health Act FAQ: https://www.rethink.org/news-and-stories/blogs/2020/03/coronavirus-temporary-changes-to-the-mental-health-act/

Advice & helpline: 0300 5000 927 - open 9.30am-4pm Monday to Friday
Email: advice@rethink.org
Post: PO Box 17106, Birmingham, WMid, B9 9LL

Rethink's Advice Service gives practical advice to adults living in England who are affected by mental illness and advise people with a mental health problem, their friends, families and carers.

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