Why am I on a Section 35? A court decided that you needed to be remanded in hospital for the preparation of a report on your mental condition. The purpose of Section 35 is to establish a diagnosis and your fitness to plead at court when you return. A court and a doctor who is Section 12 approved and has specialist experience in the treatment and diagnosis of mental illness doctor put you on the section. How long does it last and what happens next? You can be kept in hospital for up to 28 days at first and is renewable for further periods of 28 days, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. The mental health professional in charge of your care and treatment under the MHA is known as the Responsible Clinician or RC. During this time your responsible clinician will decide whether you have a serious mental health problem or not. Your Section 35 will end when the court says you do not need to be in hospital any longer. This may be if your responsible clinician tells the court that you do not need further assessment or your court case may finish or you may be sentenced. Can I be medicated against my will? You can refuse medication that you do not want. Only in special circumstances (if you lack capacity to consent to treatment) can you be given medication you do not agree to. Can I get leave? You cannot be given leave without the agreement of the court. How can I appeal? You can ask the Court to remand you to prison or on bail instead. To help you, you can ask another doctor to examine you, to see if they will write a report saying that you do not need to be kept in hospital. You will have to pay for this yourself, and the court will then look at the report and decide whether or not you must stay in hospital. What are my rights? You have certain rights when you are in hospital. These include the right to: Information about your section and the reasons for detention Information about consent to treatment Information on how to obtain the help and support of an Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA) Information on how to make a complaint Information about safeguarding Information about the Care Quality Commission The Mental Health Act 1983 Code of Practice The MHA Code of Practice should be followed by professionals who are involved in your care and treatment. The Code of Practice provides guidance to health professionals about the MHA and is also intended to be helpful to you, your family, carers, representatives, friends, advocates and anyone else who supports you. A copy of the code should be available on the ward for you to see.