The Mental Health (Care & Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 came into effect in October 2005 and gave individuals rights which previously didn't exist. 

Several sections of the Act have been reviewed since, with regular consultations, to which Support in Mind Scotland always respond.

It is sometimes referred to as the new Act and states
  • when you can be given treatment against your will
  • when you can be taken into hospital against your will
  • what your rights are
  • how your rights and safety are protected

It is based on a set of principles that the people providing your care and treatment must take into account when making decisions as listed:

  • non discrimination
  • equality
  • respect for diversity
  • reciprocity
  • informal care
  • participation
  • respect for carers
  • least restrictive alternative
  • benefit
  • child welfare

The Act uses the term mental disorder to cover mental illness, personality disorder and learning disability.