Mind and Body Submission on the Repeal and Replacement of the Mental Health Act

In theory compulsory treatment is put in place to protect people’s lives and treat their ‘illnesses,’ yet the reality is that involuntary treatment does not result in recovery – in fact, people’s experiences show that it is the cause of many irreversible problems and that being involuntarily treated is a traumatic life experience that usually makes people feel overpowered by external forces; hence, rather than help, it contributes to even greater distress.
Mind and Body does not dispute that people experiencing different realities or significant distress may need some sophisticated interventions, but the way this is done now can and needs to be swiftly changed. Studies, human rights recommendations, and personal testimonies all suggest that compulsory treatment by medication alone, seclusion and restrictive practices do not treat poor mental health and significant mental distress nor does it promote wellbeing.