What happens before detention?

You may be assessed by 3 professionals who have to agree that you need to be detained. 

The professionals in the assessment will be:

  • An approved mental health professional
  • 2 doctors, one of whom should have special training in mental disorders (section 12 approved)

You may be detained on section 2 because the assessing professionals believe:

  • You are suffering from a mental disorder
  • You need to be in hospital for assessment and treatment
  • It is necessary for your health and safety or for the protection of others

How long can I be held?

You can be detained for up to 28 days.

You may be assessed towards the end of the 28 days to see if you meet the criteria to be detained on section 3. There are limited circumstances where a section 2 detention can be extended.

Who can discharge me?

You can be discharged by:

  • Your Responsible Clinician
  • The Mental Health Tribunal
  • The Hospital Managers
  • Your Nearest Relative

Your Responsible Clinician can discharge you from section at anytime.

You can appeal to the Mental Health Tribunal during the first 14 days of your detention. Your hearing should take place within 7 days of your application being received by the tribunal service.

The Tribunal is independent of the hospital and made up of a panel of 3 people:

  • A lawyer (Judge)
  • A psychiatrist
  • Specialist member

After reviewing the evidence, they can discharge you either immediately or defer to a future date, make a statutory recommendation for leave or transfer to another hospital, or adjourn for further information. The Tribunal may also decide not to discharge the section.

You may also appeal your section to the Hospital Managers. You can apply at any time during your detention. They have the power to discharge you from section, adjourn your case for further information or make informal recommendations.

Your nearest relative may order your discharge from section. This discharge can be stopped by the doctor in your case if they think you might act in a way that is dangerous to yourself or other people. They have 72 hours from when the order is received to make their decision. If the doctor does bar their application for discharge, a Hospital Managers hearing will take place to consider the case.

Can I leave the hospital?

Your doctor can authorise you to leave the hospital for periods of time under section 17 Mental Health Act.

Will I need to take medication?

Your consent should be sought by the professionals on the ward but you can be treated against your wishes whilst you are detained on section 2.

How we can help you…

If you have been detained on section 2 Mental Health Act 1983 and require advice, please call our mental health team who will be happy to assist you.

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