The Mental Health Act

This section provides information about detention under The Mental Health Act. This includes the criteria for detention or ‘sectioning’, information about different sections and the rights of someone who has been detained.

  • The Mental Health Act is the law which sets out when you can be admitted, detained and treated in hospital against your wishes. It is also known as being ‘sectioned’.
  • For this to happen, certain people must agree that you have a mental disorder that requires a stay in hospital. There you will have an assessment and be given treatment if needed.
  • This is only done when you are putting your own safety or someone else’s at risk.
  • You can sometimes be given treatment even if you don’t want it.
  • There are different sections of the Mental Health Act that have different aims.
  • You have certain rights under the Mental Health Act, including the right to appeal and the right to get help from an advocate.

Click the links below to download patient information sheets:

Section 2 – Admission to hospital for assessment 

Section 3 – Admission to hospital for treatment 

Section 5(2) – Detention of patients already in hospital 

Section 5(4) – Nurses power to detain a person being treated for mental disorder in hospital in-patient 

Section 37 – Admission to hospital by a hospital order without restrictions 

Section 37/41 – Admission to hospital by a hospital order with restrictions 

Section 48 – Transfer to hospital of an unsentenced prisoner (with or without restrictions)  

Section 136 – Admission of mentally disordered persons found in a public place 

SCT Section 3 – Supervised community treatment for section 3 patients 

Section 7 – Guardianship 

ECT – Electro-convulsive therapy for patients detained in hospital 

Do you require information in a different format or language?

We are able to support you with any accessibility needs. If you require any of the above documents in another language or format please contact us to arrange this:

Call (01472) 583054 or Email

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