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Committee to examine whether draft Mental Health Bill sufficiently addresses racial inequalities in mental health treatment

18 October 2022

NHS statistics from 2020-2021 show that black people are four times more likely than white people to be detained under the current Mental Health Act. Some minorities are also more likely to spend longer in detention and be detained through the criminal justice system. The Committee will ask experts, campaigners and charities whether changes proposed in the draft Mental Health Bill will go far enough to reduce inequalities in the use of the Act.  

Members are expected to consider changes to detention criteria under Community Treatment Orders (CTOs). With black people 10 times more likely to be detained under CTOs, the Committee will consider whether more structured criteria will reduce their use and may hear calls to scrap them altogether. 

The session may also cover proposals to provide independent mental health advocates to patients; to consider the use of Advance Choice Documents for patients to express their treatment preferences in advance; and to increase the diversity of the mental health workforce. 

The Committee will also be holding private sessions with mental health service users to hear their perspectives on the draft bill.  

Witnesses from 13:45 

  • Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE, Director, Black Thrive
  • Maurice McLeod, Chief Executive, Race On The Agenda
  • Professor Stephani Hatch, Professor of Sociology and Epidemiology, Kings College London 
  • Beverly Stephens, Community Engagement and Membership Manager, Catalyst 4 Change
  • Lily Huggins, Assistant Head of Operational Development (Advocacy), Gaddum

Further information

Image: UK Parliament/Tyler Allicock