Explains the rights that you have if you are sectioned and detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983.
Watch this video for a quick summary of what sectioning means:
Under 18? We have information on going into hospital as a young person, and your rights if you’re sectioned
The nearest relative is a family member who has certain responsibilities and powers if you are detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act. These include the right to information and to discharge in some situations.
The law sets out a list to decide who will be your nearest relative. This can sometimes be changed.
See our pages on the nearest relative for more information.Visit our full listing of Legal Terms
Being 'sectioned' means that you are kept in hospital under the Mental Health Act. There are different types of sections, each with different rules to keep you in hospital. The length of time that you can be kept in hospital depends on which section you are detained under.
See our pages on sectioning for more information.Visit our full listing of Legal Terms
In Wales, voluntary patients can also have an IMHA.Visit our full listing of Legal Terms
This is a law that applies to England and Wales which allows people to be detained in hospital (sectioned) if they have a mental health disorder and need treatment. You can only be kept in hospital if certain conditions are met.
See our pages on the Mental Health Act for more information.Visit our full listing of Legal Terms
This information was published in July 2020. We will revise it in 2023.
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