News: Headlines for the 3rd sector
Mental Health Discrimination Bill second hearing passed without division
Last month, we urged our members and friends to show their support for the Mental Health (Discrimination) (No.2) Bill leading up to its debate in Parliament on 14th September. The aim of the Bill is to reduce the stigma and negative perceptions associated with mental illness; it seeks to repeal three archaic pieces of legislation which discriminate against anyone who has experienced mental health problems by preventing them from being a member of a jury; a company director and an MP if detained under the Mental Health Act for 6 months or more.
MHNE met with Kevan Jones MP before the debate to discuss our concerns (click here for further information) and we are delighted to report that Mr. Jones was one of many MPs to attend the debate and pledge their support. The Bill passed without a division and will now be considered by a Public Bill Committee. Mr. Jones said that the bill was not just for the benefit of MPs, but would help remove the stigma of mental illness from society.
This Private Members' Bill was introduced to the House of Commons by Conservative MP Gavin Barwell, who told MPs: 'My bill's purpose is very simple: to tackle the last legal form of discrimination in our society. To our shame the law of the land still discriminates against those with a mental health condition... The law as it stands sends out a clear message that if someone has a mental health condition their contribution to public life is not welcome. That is an affront to a decent civilised society.'
MHNE would like to thank those of you who contacted your MP or showed your support and welcome all views and comments.
Please click here for further information, including a link to footage of the debate.
Alternatively, to read the full transcript please click here.