Call for Trend Pieces: Changes to the UK Mental Health Act (1983, as amended 2007) under the Draft Mental Health Bill 2022 and people with learning/intellectual disabilities

Guest editor(s)


Submit your opinion piece here!


Tizard Learning Disability Review (TLDR) is an accessible, readable and challenging high-quality source of information and intelligence for those researching and working in the field of learning/intellectual disabilities. We are seeking submissions for a special section focused on the current proposals to reform the UK Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA).

The UK Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended 2007) is an important piece of legislation that outlines the rights of those with mental health problems in terms of their assessment and treatment in hospitals and community settings. In 2022 the UK government published a Draft Mental Health Bill as a step towards changing the current legislation, and the draft bill was reviewed by a committee which published its report and recommendations in January 2023.

This reform has been a long time coming, and it is vital that the changes made are for the better for the lives of those with learning/intellectual disabilities. We are keen to solicit new trend pieces for TLDR that examine the proposed amendments and committee recommendations, and how they might impact (for better or worse) the lives of people with learning/intellectual disabilities and/or those who are autistic. We encourage submissions which explore this important issue both in the context of treatment in hospital but also wider impacts where the definition of ‘mental disorder’ under the MHA is used to access reasonable adjustments (e.g., in the CJS).

Some of the potential topics for opinion pieces could include (but not limited to):

  • Removal of learning disability and autism from the definition of mental disorder for detention in hospital under section 3 (benefits, challenges, and implications for certain patient groups such as those with forensic histories)
  • Considerations on the effective use of the Dynamic Support Register and implications for community services for people with learning disabilities and/or those who are autistic
  • Wider impact of the proposed amendments for the provision of reasonable adjustments for people with learning disabilities and/or those who are autistic in services where this entitlement relies on learning disability/autism to be classed as a ‘mental disorder’ (e.g., Victims Code, PACE Codes etc). 

We are especially keen to publish papers from marginalised groups and encourage pieces from authors within these communities who have had direct experience of the impact of the current MHA.
Note: Trend Pieces are evaluated and reviewed by a member/s of the editorial team who make a final decision on any revisions (we may request) and whether or not to publish. Trend Pieces are papers where content is dependent on the author's opinion and interpretation. This may still include referencing and citations, but the paper will include views, opinions, and discuss ideas based on perspectives (which will often be expert led).    



Jill Bradshaw
Tizard Centre, University of Kent - UK
[email protected]


Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available by clicking the button below.

Submit your trend piece here!

Articles should be between 1800 and 2000 words in length. This includes all text, for example, the structured abstract, keywords, references, all text in tables, and figures and appendices.  Please allow 350 words for each figure or table.

Author guidelines must be strictly followed.  



Langdon, P.E. et al. (2023) ‘Psychiatric inpatient admissions and discharges of people with intellectual disabilities: A time series analysis of English national data’, Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 36(1), pp. 196–204. doi:10.1111/jar.13051.

Tromans, S. et al. (2023) ‘The potential unintended consequences of mental health act reforms in England and Wales on people with intellectual disability and/or autism’, The British Journal of Psychiatry [Preprint]. doi:10.1192/bjp.2023.10.

Velani, B. et al. (2022) ‘Implementing proposed reforms of the Mental Health Act for people with intellectual disability and autism: The perspective of multidisciplinary professionals in intellectual disability teams’, BJPsych Open, 8. doi:10.1192/bjo.2022.604.