Raise the Standard
Mental health hospitals are broken. Buildings are crumbling. Wards are often bare, cold and rundown. And people’s voices are being ignored. It’s time to make mental health hospitals safe. Help us Raise the Standard.
What it's like
Mental health hospitals should be safe. They should be places of understanding, kindness and hope. Places where people feel respected and cared for. But often this isn’t the case. People have told us hospitals can be cold, frightening, noisy and prison-like.
The Mental Health Act is 40 years old. It's the law which says when you can be sectioned, and given mental health treatment, against your will.
But it’s not working. People detained under the Act don’t have enough say in their treatment.
We know the UK government needs to change the Mental Health Act.
But despite committing to reforming it in both 2017 and 2019, they failed to include it in the 2023 King’s Speech - the speech which sets out government's upcoming priorities.
Become a campaigner, and help us reform the Mental Health Act. Together, we'll Raise the Standard of mental health hospitals.
What the UK government must do
The failings in mental health hospitals have gone on too long.
Following the launch of our campaign earlier this year, we’ve already seen the government launch an investigation into mental health hospitals. But they need to go further. Here’s what they must do next:
- Deliver a reformed Mental Health Act before the next election. One that will strengthen people’s rights, choice, and control while they're in hospital.
- Include patients and their loved ones in the investigation into mental health hospitals. This will help them see exactly why mental health hospitals are broken.
- Widen the investigation to look at people’s whole experience. From the physical ward environment to the treatment options available.
- Invest in staff and buildings. So that care is safe, respectful, and delivered in the right environment.
Your experiences of mental health hospitals
As part of this campaign, so many people have bravely shared their stories of what it's like to be in a mental health hospital. Explore them below.
Tiwa spent time in lots of mental health hospitals between the ages of 16 and 18. In this video, she explains what it was like.
"What kind of health care is this? Only 9 staff on shift. A drop of my hospital calculated portion of Fortisip."
"Each day blended into an endless blur of pain, my heart heavy, burdened by the weight of my brain."
"Left in that empty room on that cold plastic mattress, alone within the walls that seeped fear and anguish. "
"How many years since then? Eight, give or take, but even now if I lie there in darkness awake - I'm sixteen again."
"School with friends turned to a locked ward with strangers. Dance classes turned to doctors upping the meds again."
"A troop against a halo - we scream battle cries. Apparently without war, there is no peace. Or so it goes."
"In many ways we were victims ourselves of regimes that were controlling, punitive, and anachronistic"
"I am called for ward round. I speak up before immediately being shut down. Does my voice not deserve to be heard?"
>Read Freya's poem
"I've been able to start to climb back up the cliff-face, positive that one day soon I'll reach the top again."
>Read the full blog
Where to get support
We know that going into hospital for your mental health can be really scary. If you're affected by any of the issues on this page, know that you're not alone. We have information on going into hospital, the care you might get, and what happens if you're sectioned.