Jo's Blog

Latest Blogs

Welsh Mental Health Bill

How the Welsh Government could use the powers it already has So the UK Government’s plans to reform the Mental Health Act plod on: a Mental Health Bill is promised but not yet diarised – but it was in the Queen’s Speech so it should be introduced in this Parliament....

Recovery isn’t an easy option

Hospital patients need to be actively supported. Take a look at NHS Wales’ new report Making Days Count - National Review of Patients Cared for in Secure Mental Health Hospitals  - essential reading for anybody concerned about people with a serious mental illness....

The New Cinderella

Over the years many activists including me described mental health as a “Cinderella” service compared with the support provided for physical health problems. But this description has not been used much in recent years, maybe because the UK and Welsh governments have...

Politely but firmly

This pandemic probably won’t come to an end suddenly on one happy day when we can wave flags and ring the church bells. More likely it will go on at least in the background for many months or indefinitely. I have a concern about that: just how long do we need to wait...

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. Until 2020 I was 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:

For an overview of the current Act please visit:

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 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