Jo's Blog

Latest Blogs

Happy Christmas …and stay connected!

Just a quick post to wish everybody a great Christmas and New Year. This time of year can be tough for people with a serious mental illness, especially those who are in-patients or in prison – and of course those who live alone in the community. It’s a difficult time...

Fair Trade

I support having laws which make it possible in limited circumstances to detain innocent people with a serious mental illness. Why? Because I’m a realist. Society cannot stand by and let somebody who has lost touch with reality injure themselves or, worse still, take...

Money Money Money

Not everything comes back to money but there is no point in talking about mental health services without mentioning how they are paid for. The Welsh Government will soon be setting its budget for next year (that means April 2022 to March 2023) once they hear what the...

Mental Health Epidemic?

Mental Health Epidemic?

I am asking myself a question: is it true that there is an epidemic of mental health problems arising from the Covid pandemic? There is additional pressure on mental health services right now – no question – but what is causing that? It is widely reported that anxiety...

About this blog – and how to get involved

In 2018 the UK Government commissioned an independent Review which considered how the Mental Health Act can be improved. The Review published its report in December. While I welcome the report, especially where it aims to remove some of the more oppressive aspects of compulsory treatment, I still don’t believe that the Review has really got to grips with the patient experience of the Act.

Over the past few months we’ve talked to over 100 service users and carers about what it’s like to be on the receiving end of the Mental Health Act. Hearing about people’s experiences of the Act has inspired me to start a new campaign to capture the voices and views of service users and carers in Wales: Jo’s Blog.

Who is Jo Roberts?

This is my story: I’ve been subject to compulsory treatment a few times in my life and was sectioned for long periods. Until 2020 I was subject to a Home Office section. Having been through this, I strongly feel that we need a service that works as hard as possible to prevent people from needing to go to hospital, and that treats them with respect when there’s no choice but to compel them.

I originally campaigned for a fair Mental Health Act back in the early noughties when a draft new Act was being considered by Parliament. I played a leading part in seeing off a new draft act which was not taking us in the right direction at all. We then ended up with an amending act which modified parts of the 1983 Mental Health Act.

Why am I writing this Blog?

Because I need your help! With our support, service user and carer-led charity Hafal can take forward our perspective and fight for a progressive Mental Health Act fit for the 21st Century – an Act that gives patients and carers in Wales a fairer deal.

Where can I find out more about the Mental Health Act review?

To find out more about the UK Government’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act visit:

For an overview of the current Act please visit:

How can I get involved?

If you agree with the points I make in my Blog, or if you would like to add your own points, please email me at or write to me care of Hafal, Unit B3, Lakeside Technology Park, Phoenix Way, Llansamlet, Swansea SA7 9FE.

Alternatively you can hashtag me using the following: #josblog