14th Jan, 2021 Read time 2 minutes

UK Government proposes reform for the Mental Health Act

The UK Government has proposed new reforms for the ‘outdated’ Mental Health Act, with a new focus on bridging racial disparities and providing more patient autonomy. 


In 2018 the report which investigated the state of the current Mental Health Act (1983) was published with results on how the act could be modernised with reform and brought into the 21st century. 

The reforms aim to give more autonomy to mental health sufferers 

The topline aim of the reforms is to allow for more patiently autonomy and overall the development of a more humanistic approach to the mental health of individuals in a serious state. 

The new white paper published by the Government aims to apply 4 key principles that must be followed when dealing with any mental health case: 

  • Give more choice and autonomy to patients, ensuring views are respected 
  • Ensuring Mental Health Act powers are used in the least restrictive way
  • Taking steps to ensure patients are supported to get better and discharged as quickly as possible
  • Ensuring patients are treated as individuals  

The reforms for the Act also aims to tackle some of the racial disparities between patients who are more likely to be detained under the act. 

The aims of the act reform are not dissimilar to the upcoming ISO 45003 standard which is being brought forward to better safeguard the mental and psychological health of individuals in the workplace. Indeed the official developments could be an indicator that national and governing bodies are starting to consider mental health higher up on the agenda. 

Read more around mental health on HSE Network 

The changes proposed by the Government show there is a movement being made on mental health, and it is now becoming a priority for many organisations. HSE Network curates regular content around mental health including how home working affects the psychological wellbeing of employees

Our mental health and well-being resources page shows some of the latest trends in psychological health within the health and safety industry. 

HSE Network
Article by: HSE Network

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