Black Men and The Mental Health Act: What's next on the reform agenda?


We are delighted to invite you to register your interest to join this Westminster symposium on Black men and the Mental Health Act, showcasing the findings of a major new co-produced research project and exploring the path forward for the reform agenda.

The Mental Health Act serves as the cornerstone legislation governing the assessment, treatment, and safeguarding of rights of individuals with mental health disorders. However, its application has shown significant disparities, particularly affecting Black British men, who are four times more likely than their white counterparts to be involuntarily detained. This disproportionate impact highlights systemic issues within the Act that urgently require attention and reform.  

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded IMPROVE-ACT project (NIHR 201715​ [PRP (26-02-02) Improving patient experiences and outcomes under the Mental Health Act). Led by Manchester Metropolitan University and co including Policy Connect explored how to improve the experiences of Black men in relation to the Mental Health Act.   

Over the past two years, Policy Connect and Manchester Metropolitan University have collaborated with individuals directly affected by the Act, as well as with police forces, NHS healthcare professionals, and policymakers, to explore avenues for improvement. This included a parliamentary symposium at the start of the project, chaired by Lord Bradley and a keynote from the then Mental Health Minister Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP.  

Through rigorous research and consultation, we have now developed policy recommendations aimed at enhancing experiences and reducing detention rates.  

At this symposium, we'll unveil these recommendations and share key insights garnered from our collective efforts. This event serves as a vital platform for dialogue, collaboration, and advocacy, as we work towards a more equitable and effective Mental Health Act.  

The symposium will be chaired by Lord Keith Bradley, the speaker panel will be announced in due course. 

To register for this symposium or for further information please email: jasmin.adebisi [at]