The Mental Health Act - Civil Detaining Sections

The Mental Health Act 1983 (the Act) gives certain people the ability to 'section' someone if they believe that they are in need of assessment or treatment for a mental disorder and that can not be done unless they detained in hospital. You do not have to have done anything wrong to be sectioned.

This can be a frightening experience, but the Act sets out your rights, being told which provisions of the Act you are being detained under, informing your nearest relative, if you wish and, importantly, making an application for a Tribunal which has the power to discharge you from detention in hospital.

We can help you to make an application to the Tribunal, help you prepare for it and be there to represent you at the hearing. We can also help you make your wishes about how you are being treated known and help with getting you leave. Legal Aid is available for Tribunal hearing and it is not means-tested, which means you do not have to provide any financial information and you will not have to pay anything.

We provide a complete service, supporting you throughout the process and dealing with your case discreetly and confidentially. We are accredited with the Law Society in Mental Health Law and we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Section 2

This section allows for a person to be detained for up to 28 days for assessment or assessment followed by treatment.

Section 3

This section allows for a person to be detained for up to 6 months for treatment, can follow immediately from a section 2 and can be extended for longer.

Other Relevant Sections

Section 4 of the Act allows for an emergency application to be made in some situations and section 5 allows a registered medical practitioner or nurse to detain you long enough for a formal application for admission under section 2 or 3 to be made.