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Mental Welfare Commission welcomes review of Mental Health Act

Publication date: 19 Mar, 2019

The Mental Welfare Commission today welcomed the government's announcement of a review of Scotland's Mental Health Act.

Colin McKay, chief executive of the Mental Welfare Commission, said:

"This will be an ambitious project, which we will support in every way we can. We await the details of how the review will be undertaken but working together, with professionals and with people with lived experience, Scotland has the opportunity to create new legislation that can bring real improvement to the care and treatment of some of the most vulnerable members of our community. "

The current Act dates from 2003. While a leading piece of legislation at that time, changes in approaches to the care and treatment of people with mental illness, and an increased focus on human rights here in Scotland and internationally, means that the Commission and others have been calling for a review for some years.

To help drive this process, almost two years ago the Commission published a document with Edinburgh Napier University calling for reform of Scotland's mental health and incapacity laws, and explaining why the Commission believed reform was needed. This work was part of a wider call for change.

Colin McKay added:

"While there is much to be done, we strongly welcome this announcement by government. It underlines their commitment to improving mental health care and treatment in Scotland, and we hope to work closely with the review team to help drive this change."

Mary Mowat

The Mental Welfare Commission

0131 313 8786