An important review is currently being carried out into the way mental health law is working in Scotland. This review was set up by the Scottish Government but is independent from them.

The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 (“the Act”) came into force in 2005 – and the Review is seeking to ascertain: how well does it work at the moment?

The consultation paper can be found via this link.

John Scott QC is leading the Review and wants to hear about experience of mental health law in Scotland. We wish to respond to the review as an organisation, but want to first seek the views of service users, families, carers and members, so we can collate your responses and submit them, giving a representation of views from across Support in Mind Scotland.

The deadline for us to make our submission, which was extended due to the Covid-19 crisis, is 29 May, so we would ask if you could please respond to us by Monday, 22 May.

There are explanations at the end of this post to outline who the Review wants to hear from and why the consultation is taking place.

To submit your views to Support in Mind Scotland - anonymously if you wish - please fill in our simple feedback form HERE.



Some people may instead prefer to respond individually to the consultation, and if you would like to do so, you can access the online consultation form by following the link here. If you would prefer to speak to someone over the phone, then please contact the Mental Health Law Review team at [email protected]

Who do the Review want to hear from?

  1. You have had a mental disorder and because of that mental disorder, have had experience of the mental health, incapacity or adult support and protection law.

This could mean you have been in hospital because of your mental health. Some people are in hospital voluntarily. Some people are in hospital under an order (you might have heard this described as ‘being sectioned’ or ‘detained’). In either case, if you think this means you, we want to hear from you.

Or, if you have had care and support provided at home, or in a care home setting or somewhere else in the community, because of your mental health, we want to hear from you. 

Or, if you are or have been a carer, supporter or acted as a named person for anyone with a mental disorder and because of that have had experience of the mental health, incapacity or adult support and protection law, the Review wants to hear from you.

The Review would also like to hear from you if: 

  1. You are working in an area that uses any of these laws in your job.

Why is the consultation taking place?

  • The aim of the Review is to improve the rights and protections of people affected by the mental health, incapacity or adult support and protection laws because they have, or used to have, a mental disorder. This includes carers or supporters of people affected by these laws.
  • When the law talks about someone with “a mental disorder” it means someone who has a mental illness, a personality disorder or a learning disability. This can include people experiencing dementia, depression or autistic people. This is the definition that is used in the law at present which is why we are using it.
  • Human Rights based approach is being taken to the Review. This means that at all times, the secretariat is asking how mental health law promotes and protects human rights, and if it could do this in better ways.

* If you want to speak to someone at Support in Mind Scotland before completing our feedback form, or would like some further information then please email us at: [email protected]