Mind calls on the public to speak out on the Mental Health Bill with launch of national ad campaign
Posted Monday 27 September 2004
Mind calls on the public to speak out on the Mental Health Bill with launch of national ad campaign.
Mental health charity Mind today revealed its plans for a hard-hitting advertising campaign in the national press. The advert aims to inform the public about the potential impact of the recently published draft Mental Health Bill on millions of ordinary members of the public and to encourage individuals to act now whilst they have a chance to influence Government plans.
The draft Bill published by the Government in early September was met again with widespread criticism by mental health service users, charities and mental healthcare professionals (*1). For the next six months the Bill will be subject to Pre Legislative Scrutiny, whereby a panel of expert MPs will consider the principles which underpin the proposals and will invite interested groups and individuals to submit evidence to the committee before the Bill begins its path through Parliament.
Mind is encouraging individuals with experience of mental health services to become active in the legislative process. Prominent ads will run in the Daily Mirror, The Guardian, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday and The Observer.
The text of the advert reads:
Speak your mind or lose your voice
The Government has drawn up a new Mental Health Bill. If it becomes law, Mind believes this Bill will seriously restrict the rights, the choices and the well being of millions of people while failing to provide the improved safety its supporters claim.
You could be directly affected by this Bill. But you still have the power to change it. To find out how, visit our website or call our helpline.
Speaking today, Mind s chief executive Richard Brook said:
"Mental health legislation should be about ensuring effective and better managed healthcare for ordinary people. People who have experience of mental health services need to feel that the Government is providing a sound basis for delivering just that."
"The proposed measures are built on the mistaken assumption they will better protect society from dangerous people. In fact they simply risk alienating many service users from seeking the care they desperately need."
"This campaign is about letting people with experience of the mental health system know that there is something they can do to change the Government's plans."
(*1) Previous Government proposals to revise the Mental Health Bill culminated in a first draft Bill in 2002. This was also met with universal condemnation and the level of concern led to the formation of the Mental Health Alliance a powerful coalition of over 60 organisations representing every aspect of the mental health world.