PROUD OF THE UK, RIGHT NOW.
MPs voted today in favour of the Mental Health (Discrimination) Bill, which will now go through to the Committee stage. If eventually passed, it will put an end to archaic laws which interfere with the rights of people with mental health problems from participating in jury service and becoming or remaining a company director. It will also change a law that currently stipulates that MPs themselves will lose their seats if sectioned under the Mental Health Act, regardless of recovery.
Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change, England’s biggest mental health anti-stigma programme, run by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, said: “This is another historic step towards ending the widespread discrimination that people with mental health problems face, and will help us to overturn generations of stigma and prejudice. There is no reason why people with mental health problems should not be fit to hold public office, and the fact that this is finally being recognised by Parliament sends a very positive message to the millions of people affected by mental health problems that they have just as great a contribution to make to society as anyone else.
“We recently saw four MPs speak out in Parliament about their experiences of mental health problems, and in Norway we have seen a Prime Minister remain in office while dealing with depression Legislation which prevents those of us who have a mental health problem from fulfilling our potential is not only a great waste of talent, but also fuels stigma and discrimination.”