Section 2 Mental Health Act 1983

What is this?

An application has been made by mental health professionals who believe an individual may be suffering from a mental disorder of a type of severity that means they need to be in hospital to be assessed, and then treated if necessary. The professionals will be concerned that without this treatment the person is a risk to themselves or others.

This can happen even if the person doesn’t consent to it.

Whilst under section 2 a patient can only leave the ward with the psychiatrist’s authority.

The section lasts for 28 days at which point the person will be either discharged or assessed for a section 3.

Getting discharged

The treating doctor can discharge a patient when they consider it appropriate.

The patient’s nearest relative can ask for the patient to be discharged. If this is refused by the patient’s psychiatrist within 72 hours, the nearest relative can apply to the mental health tribunal and ask it to consider discharging the patient.

The person can apply to the mental health tribunal themselves.

The hospital managers can discharge the patient following a hearing if they think it’s appropriate to do so.