The Royal College of Psychiatrists is proud to
have been involved in a new
online film to publicise a Bill aimed at reducing mental health
The film contains contributions from the
College’s President, Professor Sue Bailey, Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer,
Rethink Mental Illness Chief
Executive Paul Jenkins, Gavin Barwell MP, and people who
have faced discrimination simply due to their mental health
The Bill received government support last
year but ran out of parliamentary time and has been reintroduced to
the Commons by Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell.
Mr Barwell said: "The main purpose of the
Bill is to send a very clear message that having a mental health
problem is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s like any other kind of
health problem, and that you shouldn’t be discriminated against on
the basis of law."
The Bill aims to:
- Remove the blanket ban that forbids people
who suffer or have suffered from a mental disorder or regularly
attending for treatment undertaking jury service.
- Amend legislation which states that a person
might cease to be a director of a public or private company “by
reason of their mental health”.
- Remove legislation under which an MP
automatically loses their seat if they are sectioned under the
Mental Health Act for more than six months.
The removal of these regulations will not only
ensure equality in specific areas of law but will send a strong
message that stigma and discrimination on the grounds of mental ill
health is not acceptable.
The Bill is supported by the government and
opposition, as well as organisations such as the Royal College of
Psychiatrists, Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and the Law Society,
but needs the support of as many MPs as possible when it receives
its full Commons debate on 14 September to ensure it
Professor Sue Bailey, President of the Royal
College of Psychiatrists, said: "The College has worked closely on
this Bill and we are proud to be involved in the campaign to tackle
these archaic and unfair rules. The fact that you can be turned
down for jury service, or be removed from your job as an MP or
company director because of mental health problems, is
discriminatory and outdated and I would encourage everyone to write
to their MP to ensure a message is sent that discrimination on the
grounds of mental health is not acceptable."
The College is working with the voluntary
sector and Parliamentarians to ask people to write to their own
local MP to encourage them to attend the debate on 14 September and
support the Bill.
If you are unsure who your MP is, you can
enter your postcode on the TheyWorkForYou website to find
You can follow the progress of the Bill and
the campaign to end mental health discrimination on Twitter by
searching for #backthebill.
For further information, please
Anne Ochola or
Deborah Hart in the Communications
Telephone: 0203 701 2544, 0203 701 2538 or 0777 623