Mental Health Act

The Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007) is a piece of legislation (in England and Wales) which tells people with mental health problems who are detained under the Mental Health Act, what their rights are regarding:


  • Assessment and treatment in hospital
  • Treatment in the community
  • Pathways into hospital, which can be civil or criminal


Some patients go into hospital voluntarily and are known as informal patients. Some patients go to hospital without their consent because of the severity of their mental illness. This is known as being a formal patient. Formal patients are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007).


Mind have a really helpful website which tells you all about the Mental Health Act and this can be found