Socialist Worker

Mental health

Issue No. 1818

MORE THAN 500 people took part in a noisy demonstration in London last Saturday against the government's Mental Health Bill. The bill's proposals may result in the forcible detention of around 600 people each year.

Since 1997 over 3,400 psychiatric beds have been lost in the NHS - there is no additional funding for the additional 600 detainees. The bill also proposes Community Treatment Orders to force people to take medication.

The march was joined by social workers, psychiatrists, and service users, their friends and supporters despite the Mental Health Alliance pulling out at the last moment.

Rob Brown, a lecturer in mental health law, said, 'Tony Blair's idea of consensus politics is listening to drugs companies and private hospitals rather than all the people who will be affected by this bill.'

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Sat 21 Sep 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1818
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