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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:20 pm on 25th July 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care 3:20 pm, 25th July 2019

It is a fantastic school. It was amazing how the principle of mental wellbeing ran through the whole school from walking in to the point where the kids pick up a sticker that reflects their mood and put it on the whiteboard, so straightaway the teacher could look out for those who were feeling a bit distressed. The other amazing thing was the teaching assistants, who instead of being based in each classroom all had specialisms and did lots of one-to-one activities outside the classroom. Even more importantly, there was a facility to reach out to parents pre-birth—obviously families tend to go and see schools. I was hugely impressed, and that goes to show how we should be encouraging innovation and imagination with regards to these services. In fact, it is probably the poster organisation to show that mental health is not everybody else’s problem; it is all our problem. The ability for such engagement in school is fantastic, so well done Charles Dickens Primary School.

Members will be pleased to know that Sir Simon Wessely has worked with the sector, and interest groups in the sector, in coming up with his proposals. I am also in regular dialogue with them to discuss the principles. In the spirit with which we all approach reform of the Mental Health Act, we obviously want to keep people safe, so there needs to be the power for potential detention, but most importantly we need to protect the rights of patients and empower them. That is the principle that I really want to underline.