Royal College of Psychiatrists responds to the Queen's speech

Statement / comment
11 May 2022

The Royal College of Psychiatrists respond to legislation drafted to address the nation’s mental health, mentioned today in the Queen’s speech.

In particular, the College welcomes reforms to the Mental Health Act designed to reduce the number of people detained under current laws, which includes autistic people and those with intellectual disabilities, and has been disproportionately used against black people. 

Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “Reforms to the Mental Health Act can tackle racial disparities in detaining patients while also improving care and increasing safeguards. Autistic people and those with intellectual disabilities deserve better care and we hope these reforms, accompanied by expanded services in the community, can provide it.  

“At all points, an individual’s dignity, autonomy, and human rights must be protected when they are subject to the Act, and we will continue to work to ensure the reforms are successfully implemented. This will rely on the Act being accompanied by a robust workforce plan, along with investment to deliver it.
“While it was positive to see the ban on conversion therapy included in today’s speech, the decision to exclude trans people from the ban is discriminatory and very disappointing. We urge the government to reconsider this decision to ensure that the ban protects transgender people as well as the wider LGBT+ community.”

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