Mental Health Patients and Voting
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust has relaunched its campaign to encourage mental health patients and service users to register to vote and get their voice heard.
Mental health patients, including those, detained under the Mental Health Act, have the same right to vote as the general population.
However, they remain one of the most disenfranchised groups. A lack of information and understanding knowledge of their eligibility to vote or of the registration process led to voting turnout being as low as 14% in 2010- a quarter of the turnout of the general population.
CNWL have produced the above film to increase awareness of the voting rights of mental health patients is available. The film features the viewpoints of patients and staff, highlighting the need for better advice and support about who can and cannot vote.
“This is all about civil rights for all citizens; something I’m passionate about and why this is a very important initiative.” – Claire Murdoch, CNWL Chief Executive
Did you know?
- The vast majority of patients in the community can vote
- Voluntary patients in mental health hospitals can vote
- Patients under civil sections, such as section 2 and 3 of the Mental Health Act (MHA), can vote
- Patients on a Community Treatment Order (CTO) can vote. Patients who lack capacity can vote
- Patients who are homeless, of no fixed abode or in B&B accommodation can vote
- Prisoners remanded to hospital under the Mental Health Act (MHA) on Sections 35, 36 or 48 can vote.
Who cannot vote?
Patients detained after having been convicted of committing a criminal offence and been ordered to hospital by the Courts cannot vote.
How do I register to vote?
To vote you must be on the electoral register. You can register to vote online or by post. Visit the Government website to find out how: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Accessible Voting: https://votingcounts.org.uk/accessible-voting