Important changes to section 136 of the Mental Health Act

11th December 2017

Emergency Departments should be aware of changes to section 136 of the Mental Health Act which take effect on Monday 11th December. RCEM has produced a brief guide to section 136 in consultation with the College of Policing which can be found here.

The main change is a reduction in duration of the section from 72 hrs to 24 hours. Under 18s are no longer allowed to be taken to a police cell and adults will only be taken to a police cell under certain circumstances. Police are also required to consult a mental health professional before applying a section 136 where possible.