The areas below are the most commonly used sections of the Mental Health Act. They are the parts that you or someone you know or care for might hear about.
In most cases when people are treated in hospital or another mental health facility, they have agreed or volunteered to be there.
But there are cases when a person can be detained under the Mental Health Act (1983) and treated without their agreement.
You can read more about the Mental Health Act on the NHS website.
There's a guide on going into hospital - for carers, friends and relatives on Rethink's website.