Response to independent review on Mental Health Act

Responding to an independent review, commissioned by the Government, of the Mental Health Act, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

Young woman in an alleyway

“It’s good to see mental health finally getting the focus that it deserves. The report makes some important recommendations about how to bring the Mental Health Act up to date and give people a stronger say in their treatment. It’s positive that the review listened to local government and recognises the role of community mental health services in preventing people from reaching crisis point in the first place.

“The LGA has consistently called for a re-focus in mental health services away from medicalisation and treating mental ill health to early intervention and support for recovery through integrated community based services.

“However, for many years mental health services at all levels have been reduced despite rising demand. This report has issued a timely call to action for Government to focus on prevention and we urge Ministers to follow through with much-needed investment in community mental health services.

“Councils are keen to work with the Government to help improve the mental wellbeing of all of our communities. With local government facing an overall funding gap of £7.8 billion by 2024/25, councils need adequate funding for the full range of services, such as housing, leisure, social services and public health, which contribute to mental wellness and play an essential part in the mental health system.”