Mental Health Act 1983 — [Ms Karen Buck in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:06 pm on 25th July 2019.

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Photo of Barbara Keeley Barbara Keeley Shadow Minister (Mental Health and Social Care) 3:06 pm, 25th July 2019

Indeed, and what my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon North has said, today and in speaking about the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018, has helped us to focus on the issue of the number of times when young people—particularly from BAME communities—are subject to the Mental Health Act, segregation and restraint. It is not acceptable. None of those cases is acceptable, but it is totally unacceptable if one group seems to be singled out in society for such measures—particularly tragically in the case of Seni. I applaud my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon North for taking that one case and pushing it through to legislation, and the Minister for supporting it.

All the principles I have outlined are important. It is only by following them that we can ensure that a reformed Mental Health Act will work in the interest of those it is designed to help: people with mental health conditions. Will the Minister confirm whether the Government will accept recommendation 1 of the review, that the four crucial principles be put on the face of the Act? We had a bit of a battle during the passage of the Mental Capacity Act 2019 in getting the Minister to accept that things should be on the face of the Bill, but things such as advocacy are pretty important, and it will not be acceptable if they can be overlooked or treated as a budgetary problem.