Jo’s Blog

LATEST BLOGS

16 OCTOBER: H.R.H. READS JO’S BLOG?

You all listened to the Queen’s Speech on Monday, didn’t you?

Well, just in case you didn’t I can tell you that she announced that the UK Government will be working to reform the Mental Health Act 1983 – something I have been campaigning for in this Blog…

19 SEPTEMBER: GIVING POLICE THE SUPPORT THEY NEED TO SUPPORT US

In this post I want to talk about how the current Mental Health Act works in practice – and specifically a recent BBC story which Hafal contributed to concerning policing and mental health.…

16 JULY: TIME TO END THE BLAME GAME

My Blog is mainly about reform of the Mental Health Act but I mentioned in my last blog post that the Sentencing Council has published proposed new guidance for sentencing offenders with mental health conditions. I’d like to talk more about this in this blog post because I think there are big problems with the criminal law which the guidance does not – and cannot – address…

10 JUNE: GIVE US A SANCTUARY, NOT A CELL!

In my latest blog post about the reform of the Mental Health Act I want to talk about how the police deal with those in crisis…

02 MAY 2019: “MENTALLY F***ING ILL”? WE DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS!

In this post I want to talk about our rights to quality care which apply after we become subject to the Act (this is distinct from the rights to challenge detention and compulsion – I’ll have more to say about that in a later post)…

04 APRIL 2019: GIVE US THE RIGHT TO EARLY TREATMENT

In my last blog I talked about how I think people who are subject to the Mental Health Act should get a better deal from the law. In 2018 the UK Government commissioned an independent Review which considered how the Mental Health Act can be improved…

20 FEB 2019: MAKE THE LAW OUR FRIEND, NOT OUR ENEMY

My name’s Jo and I’ve had a mental illness. As a result, I’ve been on the receiving end of the Mental Health Act – and I’m still subject to it today. In the past I’ve received compulsory treatment; some of that treatment was deeply unpleasant and even terrifying. To this day, the Act has a direct impact on how I am able to live my life…

About this blog – and how to get involved

In 2018 the UK Government commissioned an independent Review which considered how the Mental Health Act can be improved. The Review published its report in December. While I welcome the report, especially where it aims to remove some of the more oppressive aspects of compulsory treatment, I still don’t believe that the Review has really got to grips with the patient experience of the Act.

Over the past few months we’ve talked to over 100 service users and carers about what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the Mental Health Act. Hearing about people’s experiences of the Act has inspired me to start a new campaign to capture the voices and views of service users and carers in Wales: Jo’s Blog.

Who is Jo Roberts?

This is my story: I’ve been subject to compulsory treatment a few times in my life and was sectioned for long periods. I am still subject to a Home Office section. Having been through this, I strongly feel that we need a service that works as hard as possible to prevent people from needing to go to hospital, and that treats them with respect when there’s no choice but to compel them.

I originally campaigned for a fair Mental Health Act back in the early noughties when a draft new Act was being considered by Parliament. I played a leading part in seeing off a new draft act which was not taking us in the right direction at all. We then ended up with an amending act which modified parts of the 1983 Mental Health Act.

Why am I writing this Blog?

Because I need your help! With our support, service user and carer-led charity Hafal can take forward our perspective and fight for a progressive Mental Health Act fit for the 21st Century – an Act that gives patients and carers in Wales a fairer deal.

Where can I find out more about the Mental Health Act review?

To find out more about the UK Government’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/independent-review-of-the-mental-health-act

For an overview of the current Act please visit: http://www.mentalhealthwales.net/the-mental-health-act-1983-amended-in-2007/

How can I get involved?

If you agree with the points I make in my Blog, or if you would like to add your own points, please email me at josblog@hafal.org or write to me care of Hafal, Unit B3, Lakeside Technology Park, Phoenix Way, Llansamlet, Swansea SA7 9FE.

Alternatively you can hashtag me using the following: #josblog