The Mental Health (Care and Treatment)
(Scotland) Act 2003 applies to people who have a mental illness,
learning disability or related condition. The Act calls this mental
Most of the time, when people become unwell, they understand
that they need treatment. But sometimes, people are unwilling or
unable to agree to treatment. The Mental Health Act sets out:
- When and how people can be treated if they have a mental
- When people can be treated or taken into hospital against their
- What people's rights are, and the safeguards which ensure that
these rights are protected.
Changes to the Act
On 30 June 2017 the majority of Parts 1 and 2 of the Mental
Health (Scotland) Act 2015 came into force, which make changes to
the existing 2003 Act. For more information, please see our
guidance on the changes to the Mental Health Act.
Please note: This guide is primarily for mental health
professionals and does not cover all of the changes made. A
complete guide can be found on the
Scottish Government website.