Minister faces mental health critics at rally

28 January 2005

Mental Health Minister Rosie Winterton will defend controversial plans to reform mental health legislation at a London rally on Monday January 31, 2005.

Over 500 users of mental health services, families and professionals will attend the rally to debate government plans to extend compulsory treatment from hospitals to the community.

The rally has been organised by the Mental Health Alliance- the 60-member coalition that includes the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Mental Health Foundation, Royal College of Nursing, Rethink, the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health, Mind and the National Union of Students.

Alliance chair Paul Farmer said: "We are delighted that the minister is coming, which is in the spirit of openness and engagement that has marked this five-year long debate between us about mental health reform.

"Ms Winterton will hear at first hand the deep fears that her proposals have aroused across the mental health community."

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