Published: 19/09/2002, Volume II2, No. 5823 Page 4

Protesters from the mental health charity Mind have launched an advertising campaign against the Draft Mental Health Bill, on which consultation ended last week.

Research for Mind has found that, if implemented as it stands, the draft bill would deter one in three members of the public from seeking their GP's help for depression.Other action against the draft bill included a response from the Mental Health Alliance in the form of a giant letter telling health secretary Alan Milburn that it is 'flawed, unworkable and unethical'.

A broad alliance of mental health professionals and service users oppose the draft bill, saying it would lead to increasing numbers of people subjected to compulsory treatment.

Meanwhile, health minister Jacqui Smith this week launched England's first suicide prevention strategy. It hopes to meet the government target of reducing suicides by at least a fifth by 2010.

Suicide is the most common cause of death in men under 35.

www. doh. gov. uk/mentalhealth