Backstory podcast on the UK’s Mental Health Act review with Sir Simon Wessely

In this episode of ‘Backstory’ we talk with Sir Simon Wessely, Regius Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London, about the review of the UK’s Mental Health Act. In 2017, Simon was asked by Prime Minister Theresa May to lead the review of the Mental Health Act, and he shares with us some insights into the challenges in creating a more compassionate mental healthcare system in the UK and the process of reviewing the Mental Health Act.

“When talking with service users or patients…what often came over is that many said… ‘looking back I can understand why I was detained…and indeed I think it saved my life.’ But then they would almost invariably go on to say, ‘but why was it such an awful experience?’ And that’s the shameful thing.”

Podcast guide

1:13 – Background on Mental Health Act

3:42 – In addition to increasing detentions, why did PM May ask for this review?

5:47 – Can you give us some details about the review process?

7:50 – Besides service users, what other stakeholders have been involved in the review process?

9:25 – What has popped out most for you during this review process?

11:55 – Can you give us some examples of recommendations that will be made with this review?

15:22 – How do hope the review will change policy-maker’s perspectives on mental health?

16:24 – After the review, what’s next in terms of implementation?

18:30 – Final thoughts?

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