The Mental Health Act 2007 sets out the rules about when it's necessary to compulsorily admit someone who is having a severe mental ill health episode to hospital.
The Act is used when someone needs to be admitted to hospital to protect their own health and safety, or to protect other people. Being admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act is sometimes called being 'sectioned'. This is because the Act is split into sections, each saying when and for how long someone can be admitted, depending on how unwell they are.
People who are admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act are entitled to help from an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA).
An IMHA will support people to:
- understand their rights and choices under the Mental Health Act
- understand their treatment and discharge options in hospital and in the community
- ask for a review and challenge their section