Leaving hospital? Aftercare under the Mental Health Act in the UK

Last updated on June 3rd, 2022

Section 117 Aftercare: leaving hospital after a section

If you're in the UK, did you know that if your child (of any age) was detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act, they have rights to care and support after they leave hospital?

I learned about this from a parent whose child got professional meal support, 6 times a day, upon returning home after being a Section 3. I believe the rationale was that this 'aftercare' was necessary to prevent a revolving door situation.

Sometimes the meal support is provided by the NHS, but in this case the NHS Trust's Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) commissioned a private company to do it: I write about this here.

The 'aftercare' may take other forms — maybe visits or outings with a mental health worker.

You may also receive 'Direct Payments' so you can pay for the support you need.

Plan ahead of time

Note that the planning of the aftercare should start before your child is discharged. For one thing, transitions matter. If your child succeeds in eating with you or a professional while still in hospital, they are more likely to succeed once back home, with the same family members or professionals supporting their meals.

At the same time, I hear that the aftercare rights still apply even if your child has been home for a while.

More on section 117 Aftercare

All this nicely explained on the website of MIND: Leaving hospital (the aftercare). The website has many more useful pages about legal rights, and about sectioning.

More help you may be entitled to when your child has an eating disorder

I list other types of financial or practical help that people in England (and other UK nations usually have an equivalent) are entitled to on this page.

I welcome your comments below: what Aftercare did you get? How did it work out?

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