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8 November 2023
The King's Speech to open the new Parliament was expected to include important, and much needed, updates on Government commitments to mental health provision in the UK.
The speech failed to include either an announcement to reform of the Mental Health Act, or to a commitment to ending conversion therapy. We would like to acknowledge the upset that this will lead to among those who continue to be affected by this.
We are disappointed that, despite these commitments previously being promised by the Government, neither are to be a part of this coming year's legislative programme.
BABCP president Saiqa Naz said: "As the lead organisation for CBT in the UK and Ireland, we at BABCP are concerned that the King's Speech failed to include much needed change to the way in which people with severe mental health difficulties are treated in this country.
"Reforming the Act would have meant the opportunity to address the inequalities faced by minority groups in particular. People who are faced with detention under the Mental Health Act need to have greater protection from the realities they are faced with under the current legislation, and the Government has let them down.
"BABCP is also committed to the ending of conversion therapy. As a signatory to the Memorandum of Understanding on Conversion Therapy in the UK, we join all other signatories to demand that this practice is outlawed, and note the lack of any commitment to do so in the King's Speech."