Autism and Aspergers
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Will the planned Mental Health Act reforms benefit autistic people? Have your say.

Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,990

Scope community team

edited February 1 in Autism and Aspergers

This week the government announced long-awaited reforms to the Mental Health Act.  

What is the Mental Health Act?

The Mental Health Act (1983) is a piece of legislation used to assess, treat and detain people in mental health hospitals.    

What changes are being proposed?

Following an independent review, the government have proposed 4 new principles for the Mental Health Act to incorporate.  These are:
  • choice and autonomy – ensuring service users’ views and choices are respected
  • least restriction – ensuring the MHA’s powers are used in the least restrictive way
  • therapeutic benefit – ensuring patients are supported to get better, so they can be discharged from the MHA
  • the person as an individual – ensuring patients are viewed and treated as individuals

What does this mean for disabled groups?

The proposed reform has been welcomed by disability charities and organisations because the current Mental Health Act discriminates against autistic people.  The National Autistic Charity explains that the reform would mean changes to:
• The definition of “mental disorder” in the Mental Health Act. This definition currently includes autism, which means you can be sectioned for being autistic, even if you don’t have a mental health condition. 

• Making Care and Treatment Review actions enforceable. Care and Treatment Reviews (CTRs) are held by clinicians and other professionals responsible for people’s care and can help autistic people get discharged sooner. But too often their recommendations and actions aren’t followed. The proposals in the White Paper mean that actions agreed in CTRs would be included in new statutory care and treatment plans, which would be looked at by mental health tribunals and could be enforced. 

• The introduction of a duty to provide adequate community services. Too many autistic people get stuck in mental health hospitals because there aren’t the right services to support them in their homes. In the White Paper, the Government says there will be a duty for councils, NHS England and local health decision makers to provide enough services for autistic people in their area.
In addition to this, it is proposed to change hospital detention criteria meaning treatment must have clear therapeutic benefit, that can't be given in the community to alleviate substantial likelihood of harm.

Over to you:

To have your say on the planned reform, visit the Government's consultation survey and give your opinion.  

Whilst, free to tell us in the comments:
  • What do you think to the planned reform? 
  • Do you welcome these changes? 
  • Could more be done?
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Replies

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,651 Listener
    All I want the government to do is ensure that job applications from adults on the Autism spectrum to jobs in the "NT" world don't get insta-binned by NT employers who don't understand the problems suffered by Autistics seeking gainful employment.

    Like I've said for the last nearly 11 years, the 2010 Equality Act ain't worth the paper it's printed on IMO because there's too many loopholes meaning an employer gets away with blatant discrimination.

  • carthacartha Member Posts: 1,388 Pioneering
    All I want the government to do is ensure that job applications from adults on the Autism spectrum to jobs in the "NT" world don't get insta-binned by NT employers who don't understand the problems suffered by Autistics seeking gainful employment.

    Like I've said for the last nearly 11 years, the 2010 Equality Act ain't worth the paper it's printed on IMO because there's too many loopholes meaning an employer gets away with blatant discrimination.

    Do you tell an employer that you have autism if the employer doesn't ask you?
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 1,651 Listener
    cartha said:
    All I want the government to do is ensure that job applications from adults on the Autism spectrum to jobs in the "NT" world don't get insta-binned by NT employers who don't understand the problems suffered by Autistics seeking gainful employment.

    Like I've said for the last nearly 11 years, the 2010 Equality Act ain't worth the paper it's printed on IMO because there's too many loopholes meaning an employer gets away with blatant discrimination.

    Do you tell an employer that you have autism if the employer doesn't ask you?
    I always declare everything on the online application form, and unless they state "Automatic interviews for the disabled" like some Supermarkets do, my applications gets insta-binned, like last September I applied and got an interview at the Co Op in Shiregreen, they basically told me if I hadn't declared I wouldn't have got the interview.


  • carthacartha Member Posts: 1,388 Pioneering
    cartha said:
    Do you tell an employer that you have autism if the employer doesn't ask you?
    I always declare everything on the online application form, and unless they state "Automatic interviews for the disabled" like some Supermarkets do, my applications gets insta-binned, like last September I applied and got an interview at the Co Op in Shiregreen, they basically told me if I hadn't declared I wouldn't have got the interview.
    Not nice of them to say that but at least honest. I prefer they are direct with me so I know where I stand. I was only diagnosed recently and haven't worked since diagnosis for other reasons. In the right job they probably wouldn't notice me having autism but in the wrong job it really shows. Before I was diagnosed I was told all my problems were depression and anxiety, so I never told employers that because I didn't want to stand out. I've been in and out of a lot of jobs, and tried different things.
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