Synod tackles concerns over government mental health plans
25 February 2003
The Mental Health Alliance welcomes the Church of England Synodís decision to include discussion of the draft Mental Health Bill during its session tomorrow (Wednesday February 26).
The debate shows the breadth of concern around the governmentís plans for the first major overhaul to mental health law in twenty years.
Paul Farmer, chair of the Alliance, said: "We are delighted that the Church of England has dedicated time during its annual Synod to discuss the governmentís plans for mental health.
"Many organisations and mental health service users remain concerned about the current proposals and we hope the Church of England is listening to those concerns."
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Alliance, a body of over 50 mental health organisations, believes the draft Bill:
- will increase the number of people subject to compulsory treatment and frighten others away from seeking help
- fails to take account of the views of people who use mental health services
- will undo years of hard work by the government and others to reduce the stigma of mental distress.
- The Alliance wants to see a Bill that:
- includes a legal right to care and treatment, a right to advocacy at all stages, and a right to make an advance statement
- accords with human rights legislation and reduces the need for compulsion.
- The Emerging Issues in Mental Health report will be presented to the General Synod from 3.30 pm tomorrow (Wednesday February 26), Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3NZ.