Legislation and discrimination against people with mental illness

Earlier this year the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill was introduced to the House of Lords with the aim of reducing the stigma and negative perceptions associated with mental illness by repealing certain pieces of legislation that are considered to prevent people with mental health problems from participating fully in society. Currently, these legislative provisions can prevent people with mental health conditions from becoming:

  • Members of Parliament (section 141 of the Mental Health Act 1983 calls for a Member of the House of Commons, Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly or Northern Ireland Assembly to automatically lose their seat if they are sectioned under the Act for more than six months);
  • jurors (the Juries Act 1974 enforces a blanket ban on ’mentally disordered persons’ undertaking jury service);

The Bill was presented to Parliament through the Ballot Bill procedure and had its second reading on 14 September 2012. The Bill passed without a division and will now be considered by a Public Bill Committee. Each clause and any proposed amendments may be debated.

Making these changes to legislation is an important step towards reducing discrimination experienced by people suffering from mental health problems, which can make their difficulties worse and make it much harder to recover.

Are you finding it hard supporting a member of your workforce who’s struggling with mental health issues? Then call the Health for Work Adviceline for free on 0800 0 77 88 44.

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3 Responses to Legislation and discrimination against people with mental illness

  1. Anisley says:

    Basic thing everyone must know well done and well worth viewing.

  2. Pingback: How do we Stop Stigma in Mental Health? | Thoughts, musings, and ramblings

  3. carol powell says:

    I am a carer for my 2 grown up disabled son and daughter, both have mental health problems and son has multiple problems i have been seriously discriminated and what amounts to dangerously treated by nhs dentists for years root canalling almost all my mouth, giving me infection after infection and forcing me to undergo severe unnecessary pain and suffering on a scale it would be hard to completely put across, laughed at and skitted, and comments made about mine that would astonish you, i had to leave one on the grounds she was telling me i was unable to clean my teeth because of my kids, when infact i could not touch them due to severe perio disease which they want to further root plane. i have come out of the nhs dental service to accept only emergency extraction.
    I rarely if ever see anything regarding dental and mental health, my late brother had a life of misery with his teeth was severely mentally ill and was left to rot with his teeth from birth really being told it was not worth it and that brings me to the point my daughter was actually told she was not worth a brace. my brother died of a heart attack aged 48 with a mouth full of rotten teeth the like of which no reasonable person would never believe.i have witnessed in the past the mother of a downs syndrome child after hospital extraction being told that she was the only one on the day ward not being given painkillers as they do not feel pain. my son was in the next bed, i say BS to that, they feel pain like everyone else.