Agenda’s response to the independent Mental Health Act Review interim report.
Katharine Sacks-Jones, Director of Agenda and the co-chair of the Women’s Mental Health Taskforce at the Department of Health and Social Care, says:
“We welcome that the interim report acknowledges that detention under the Mental Health Act may re-traumatise patients who have experienced abuse – which is disproportionately women.
“More than half of women with a mental health problem have experienced violence and abuse. Yet, this is often not taken into account when they are detained, resulting in care that fails to meet their needs and can even make situations worse – with the use of restraint a particular concern.
“The report also draws attention to mental health patients who have been abused by family members. Agenda is concerned that under the Mental Health Act these abusers may be able to have a say in patients’ care. This puts women and girls at risk and must be ended urgently.
“If we want to see patients detained under the Mental Health Act get the support and care they need, we need to see a trauma-informed approach across the board. Investment in mental health services is also vital to ensure women and girls get the help they need, when they need it, and before reaching crisis point.
“We look forward to working with the Review team to ensure women and girls’ needs and experiences are fully taken into account in this process.”
Find our more about Agenda’s Women in Mind mental health campaign.