Intended for healthcare professionals


People with mental health problems are more likely to be referred to government’s counterterrorism programme

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 06 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2713
  1. Aisha Majid
  1. London, UK

People with mental health problems are more likely to be reported by the NHS to Prevent, the government’s counterterrorism strategy, a report has found.1

Research by health charity Medact found that a disproportionate number of referrals come from mental health trusts or departments, reiterating a 2016 finding published in The BMJ.2

Medact sent freedom of information requests to a sample of 77 NHS trusts in Prevent Priority areas, and received 49 responses with varying degrees of disclosure. The four specialist mental health trusts that responded made 89 referrals to Prevent in the two years to March 2019. Of the 18 non-specialist trusts that replied with a breaking down of their data, 40 referrals came from mental health departments and 45 came from other departments.

According to the report, the …

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