Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/262/24649

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 July 2002

Another Dangerous New Mental Health Bill

NEW LABOUR'S Mental Health Bill includes provision for people with mental illnesses to be committed to long stay accommodation in case they may become a danger to the public (or themselves). The Scottish parliament has also decided that the mentally ill can be subjected to compulsory treatment.

Clare Wilkins

The government calls this proposed legislation the greatest reform of mental health provisions for 40 years. Reform is supposed to mean improvement, but the proposals are not about improving treatment for people with mental illnesses.

The Tories closed long-stay mental hospitals and transferred patients into the "community." This was to save money not provide better care. Mental health users and people with learning disabilities often find themselves in hostels without access to treatment or adequate support.

Some have resorted to self-harm or minor criminal offences in order to get access to an emergency mental heath bed. Large cities have around ten to thirty of these beds available and the longest stay is three days.

There is a stigma attached to being mentally ill. The charity SANE has a poster up at my psychologist's office: "You don't have to be mentally ill to suffer from a mental illness".

The media and politicians use the term "mentally ill" to mean violent, dangerous, and untreatable and usually someone with schizophrenia. There has been an outcry at the proposal to release Eden Strang from long-stay secure accommodation, despite the fact that his schizophrenia has responded well to treatment and he will continue to receive treatment and be supervised.

One in four people suffer from some form of mental illness in the course of their lives.

Compulsion will cover people who have "a disability or disorder of mind or brain which results in an impairment or disturbance of mental functioning."

The Royal College of Psychiatrists says that these criteria are so wide that large numbers of patients would find themselves inappropriately "sectioned". In fact, it could cover any mental illness. I have clinical depression triggered by stress - it covers me!

It is a law that could be misused. In the first half of the 20th century single women who had sexual relationships or became pregnant were permanently committed to mental institutions. In Stalin's Russia opponents and dissidents were incarcerated in mental institutions.

The Bill has been produced in reaction to a small number of violent acts and murders committed by people with mental illnesses who have not had proper treatment or care.

The only compulsion needed is compulsion on the health service to protect the mentally ill. These measures will increase the stigma of mental illness and drive people away from seeking treatment.

We need a mental health care system that is properly resourced, based on people's needs and with users and carers playing a full role in their own treatment and how the system operates.

Ignorance, prejudice, fear and the stigma of mental illness must be dispelled so that this can happen.

The exploitation and inequalities of capitalism itself causes many people to become mentally ill. Capitalism does not consider it profitable to provide proper research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The mental health of all would be a fundamental priority in a socialist society.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 12 July 2002:

Strike Back Against Low Pay

Potters Bar inquiry: Bring Rail Bosses To Justice

Summer Of Discontent

Build The Fight Against Sectarianism

Another Dangerous New Mental Health Bill

Big Business Scandals - Don't Let Workers Pay The Price

How Capitalism Rips Off The Working Class

Aids pandemic: Pharmaceutical Giants Obstruct Progress


 

Home   |   The Socialist 12 July 2002   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Mental health:

triangleTories wreck our NHS

triangleOne in four teenage girls depressed - crisis made worse by cuts

triangleVital women's services under threat

triangle40% of England's psychiatric wards are 'unsafe'

triangleFight the Tory cuts and changes that take mental health back to Bedlam

Capitalism:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: "You can't have capitalism without racism" (Malcolm X)

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangleThe end of the Tories?

Accommodation:

triangleNo more fire deaths - ensure safety now!

triangleHomelessness and evictions soar under the Tories

triangleGrenfell fire compounded by overcrowding: build more council homes now

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

13/10/17

Labour

The end of the Tories?

11/10/17

Tories

Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

11/10/17

Black history

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

11/10/17

Housing

Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

11/10/17

Universal Credit

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

11/10/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

11/10/17

NHS

NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

11/10/17

IMF

IMF helps cause inequality it slams

4/10/17

NHS

Tories wreck our NHS

4/10/17

Workers

Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers

4/10/17

Capitalism

Capitalism and human progress

4/10/17

Trump

Bending the knee v Trump

4/10/17

Tories

The Tories must be driven out

29/9/17

Labour

Labour Party conference: Action against establishment sabotage still needed

27/9/17

Anti-austerity

Anti-austerity opposition needed to seize on Tories' weakness

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle16 Oct Teesside Socialist Party: After the party conferences

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2