Major changes to the Mental Health Act came into effect last week. The new legislation is a milestone in the reform of mental healthcare.

A new legal power - supervised community treatment - is intended to help that minority of patients who repeatedly stop their medication because of illness and whose mental health deteriorates, which may put them at risk. Treatment at home after discharge will help them stay well and rebuild their lives.

We can assure any patients who are anxious about the changes that mental health professionals have received appropriate training and will implement these measures judiciously and carefully.

Professor Louis Appleby, national director for mental health, and Professor Dinesh Bhugra, president, Royal College of Psychiatrists

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