BBC Radio London, Sunday Programme, probes dangers of new 2007 Mental Health Act.

BBC Radio London, Sunday Programme, probes dangers of new 2007 Mental Health Act.

The controversial 2007 Mental Health Act, which received Royal Assent this month, is the topic of discussion on BBC Radio London’s Sunday Night Special weekly news and debate programme this Sunday 29th July.

Looking into why the Government has ignored the advice of its own experts over the negative impact this new law will have on Black communities, the Sunday Night Special Programme, on Sunday 29th July 2007, which runs from 8.00 – 10.00pm in the evening on radio frequency 94.9 FM and can also be accessed on digital radio and online .

Discussions will focus on the implications this new law will have on Black communities who currently have to deal with the widespread discrimination within mental health services, which has led to a crisis in black mental health. The programme will examine why the new laws are likely to increase current rates of detention and in no way assist in addressing the misdiagnosis, overmedication and coercive treatment which are the norm for black patients.

This programme look at the following key changes introduced in the Act:
● People will no longer have to be considered “treatable” before they can be detained. Clinicians will instead need to demonstrate that treatment must have the purpose of alleviating their condition.
● Patients will have the right to an independent advocate only after being detained.
● Approved social workers will be replaced by approved mental health professionals, who can be drawn from other professions.
● Compulsory community treatment can be imposed on patients who have previously been detained in hospital and are felt to be in danger of deteriorating.

‘You really have to questioning the reasons behind the introduction of forced treatment in the community when the Government’s own experts and the Commission For Racial Equality have warned of the adverse impact this and other changes that have been introduced will have on ethnic minorities.

Everyone should have the right to equitable health care, the last thing we want to see are people being driven away from the services for fear of being locked up and treated badly,’ Matilda MacAttram, director of Black Mental Health UK and one of the guests on Sunday nights show said.

‘The Law Society has already lined up cases to challenge this Act because it contravenes Human Rights law. We are calling for a judicial review because if also flies in the face of Race Relations law. We have no option if we are to ensure that we are not faced with many more tragic deaths in care like that of like David ‘Rocky’ Bennett,’ MacAttram added.

Tune into BBC Radio London’s 94.9 FM on Sunday 29th July 8.00- 10.00pm to hear learn more about the most significant changes to mental health law in a generation.

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