Explains the rights that you have if you are sectioned and detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983. Applies to England and Wales.

Your stories

Sectioned sick and bored

Sometimes, boredom is a real problem when you're staying in hospital.

Posted on 29/07/2014

A first for everything: psychosis, mania, depression and being sectioned

Jamie blogs about her experiences and the importance of her family’s support.

Posted on 03/10/2014

My experience of bipolar disorder and being sectioned

In part one of his blog, Jonny talks about his experience of bipolar disorder and being sectioned.

Posted on 24/03/2016

Useful contacts

Mind Legal Line

0300 466 6463 (Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm)
[email protected]

The Mind Legal Line can provide you with legal information and general advice.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

03000 616161 (press ‘1’ to speak to the mental health team)
[email protected]

For complaints about anything that may have happened during your time in hospital under section (in England).

Citizens Advice

03444 77 20 20 (Wales)
03444 111 444 (England)
TextRelay users should call 03444 111 445

Provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. They also have an online self help service.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

0300 790 6806 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5.30 pm, Saturday, 8am to 1pm)

The DVLA maintains registers of drivers and vehicles in Great Britain. You can contact the Drivers Medical Enquiries Team for information on:

  • the rules relating to fitness to drive
  • the forms you need to complete to tell the DVLA about your mental health problem
  • the process involved in assessing your fitness to drive.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW)

0300 062 8163

Independent regulator for healthcare in Wales, where you can make complaints and provide feedback.

The Law Society

020 7242 1222 (England)
029 2064 5254 (Wales)

The Law Society provides details of solicitors you can get in touch with for specialist legal advice.

Mental Health Lawyers Association

Professional association of Mental Health Lawyers in England and Wales.

Mental Health Tribunal (England)

0300 123 2201

Deals with cases in England relating to the Mental Health Act 1983, for example deciding whether you can be discharged from your section.

Mental Health Tribunal for Wales

029 2082 5328

Deals with cases in Wales relating to the Mental Health Act 1983, for example deciding whether you can be discharged from your section.

Revolving Doors Agency

020 7407 0747

For people with mental health problems in contact with the criminal justice system.

Where can I get support?

Local Mind

Local Minds support over 280,000 people across England and Wales. Their services include supported housing, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending. They may be able to help you find advocacy services in your area.

Find your local Mind here.

Find an advocate

An advocate is a person who can both listen to you and speak for you in times of need. Having an advocate can be helpful in situations where you are finding it difficult to make your views known, or to make people listen to them and take them into account.

For information on advocacy services and groups in your area, you could start by contacting the Mind Legal Line and your local Mind. You can also contact the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) in England, or the Community Health Council in Wales.

Read more about how advocacy might help you.


This information was published in September 2017. We will revise it in 2019.

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