Mental Health Act review

There's currently a government review of the Mental Health Act (MHA) 1983.

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/independent-review-of-the-mental-health-act

There are two surveys for mental health service users and for carers available through that page, which are closing in a couple of days. There will I believe be further chances to submit evidence over the next few months.

At the moment the Act follows the psychiatric establishment in seeing autism as 'disorder or disability of the mind'. This is elaborated in the current MHA code of practice, chapter 20. Addiction is excluded from the Act however (so to be blunt, the state can often try to stop you killing yourself, but not drinking yourself to death), and learning disabilities are excluded unless ''associated with abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct'.

  • Should autism be excluded in a similar way?
  • Do you know how many people are detained just on the basis of autism or learning disabilities?
  • Do you have any other experience or opinion on the Mental Health Act? What about advance directives, or mental capacity?

Some useful submissions already made:

Parents
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  • Autism is more likely to lead to severe anxiety and depression I would say. I think it’s a difference in brain wiring rather than a mental disorder. I’m more capable than many of the NTs that I encounter. 

    I would hope that they wouldn’t think we don’t have mental capacity. I have an advance medical directive and it fills me with fear if I thought that they’d ignore it. 

Children
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