Intended for healthcare professionals


Mental Health Act must be overhauled to tackle racial inequalities, say psychiatrists

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: (Published 26 January 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q209
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Proposed reforms to the Mental Health Act must be enacted without delay to tackle the persistent racial and social inequalities in detention for treatment, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has urged.

Latest NHS data show that black people and people living in areas of socioeconomic deprivation remain more likely to be detained under the act than any other groups.1

While noting some improvement in the latest figures, the college said that the disparity remained, reflecting “a vicious cycle of inequality and mental illness affecting too many patients.”

College president Lade Smith, said, “It is welcome that for the first time we have seen a reduction …

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