Labour pledge to reform mental health care

Labour have announced plans to reform the Mental Health Act 1983 if they win the next general election. 


The party aims to include this in its first legislative programme post-election, which is expected to take place latest January 2025. 


Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, said: “The next Labour government will reform the Mental Health Act in our first King’s Speech. The treatment of people with autism and learning disabilities under this outdated legislation disgraces our society. The way in which Black people are disproportionately impacted is indefensible. The law is not fit for purpose and must change. There is no excuse for Rishi Sunak’s delay to fulfil the manifesto promise he was elected on.”


“The treatment of people with learning disabilities and autism under the current act shames our society,” he added.


“The disproportionate impact on black people, who are four times more likely to be sectioned than white people, is appalling. Prisons and police cells are no place for people with mental ill-health.”


Sarah Hughes, chief executive of Mind, added: “This is further evidence of how little regard the current government has for mental health. More than 50,000 people were held under the Mental Health Act last year, so it is incomprehensible that legislation that would help people at their most unwell has been de-prioritised.”


The Department of Health and Social Care expressed its dedication to ensuring individuals with learning disabilities and autistic individuals can lead fulfilling lives within their communities. They highlighted a 30% reduction in the number of such inpatients since 2015.


carlette Isaac

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