The Mental Health Act principles were
created to help people understand how the law should work in
The principles were developed through consultation about what
people felt was important to them, when they were being treated for
a mental disorder. People who have received care and treatment and
carers, as well as professionals, were involved in this
The principles are a set of guidelines for how professionals
should work when providing treatment and care under the Act.
The ten principles of the Act
1. Take your past and present wishes into account.
2. Make sure you get the information and support you need to take
part in decisions.
3. Take the views of your carer, named person, guardian, or
welfare attorney into account.
4. Look at the full range of options for your care.
5. Give you treatment that provides maximum benefit.
6. Take account of your background, beliefs, and abilities.
7. Make sure that any restrictions on your freedom should be the
'minimum necessary in the circumstances'.
8. Make sure that you are not being treated less favourably than
9. Your carers' needs are taken into account and they get the
information and support they need to help them care for you.
10. Take special care of your welfare if you are under 18 years of
If you feel the principles are not being applied to your care
and treatment, you should speak to your doctor (responsible medical
officer). You may want to get some help from an independent
advocacy service who can provide support, and help you get your
You can also phone us on 0800 389 6809. We can help by
discussing what the principles mean for your care and