Entitled to free support services under aftercare?


Music therapy picA volunteer writes:

“If you have ever been sectioned on a section 3 of the Mental Health Act (and other sections below) once you are discharged back to the community and have needs relating to healthcare, social care or supported accommodation, then these should be provided by what is called Section 117 aftercare. A requirement by law.

“This means that you are exempt from being financially assessed and also exempt from paying towards costs of treatment and care relating to your mental health.  Aftercare can include music, art therapy or meeting other people at a centre, if that is the form of treatment that meets your needs. It can carry on for as long as needed.   

“I’m pretty sure many people are still unaware, but if you know or think you have ever been on a section 3 (no restriction with how far back you were detained) and you have unmet needs in the community, then please ask someone to help you with this. You have to have been under a Section 3 six-month section which is classified as treatment — the other sections are to do with assessment of your mental health.  You don’t have to have done the whole six months — if you have done part, that still counts.  I believe many people are being denied or being asked to pay when they don’t need to.

A few years back when they started to discharge some people from a Mind local group, they were not asking them whether they were on a s.117 or whether they had ever been sectioned and people left because they couldn’t afford to pay for the day service.”

WinVisible adds:

This applies if you have been in hospital under section 3, 37, 45A, 47 or 48 of the Mental Health Act 1983.  Some women who may be eligible are being charged under Adult Social Care for therapeutic activities.  More information from Rethink here.


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