Mental Health and Immigration Detention Action Group

The Mental Health and Immigration Detention Action Group (MHIDAG) is a voluntary and unfunded group with a membership of lawyers, health professionals, ex-detainees and NGO workers.


•Is seriously concerned about the mental health of those held under Immigration Powers

•Considers that aspects of the current detention and healthcare policy and their current implementation are detrimental to the mental health of immigration detainees

•Will be marshalling evidence and submissions to influence a change for the better for both individual detainees and detainees as a whole

The MHIDAG works collaboratively through discussion and information exchange and through influencing external bodies.

The address for correspondence is Dr Hilary Pickles Medical Justice 86 Durham Road, London N7 7DT or

The group will be launching a report on 17th December about the treatment of people with mental health problems in immigration detention.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ has also issued a statement outlining its position on immigration detention. Please click here to view the statement. There have been four recent cases where people with mental health issues were found to have their Article 3 rights breached including the Das case. The claimant’s appeal was heard in the Court of Appeal in November and the judgment is awaited. Mind and Medical Justice intervened in that appeal.

The Royal College’s position statement makes some helpful and important observations about the serious difficulties of managing a person’s mental health care in an immigration removal centre and it also makes some observations about what is meant by serious mental illness and that this cannot be equated with the need for inpatient admission.

If anyone from the MHLA is interested in assisting the group with their work or would like more information then they should contact Dr Hilary Pickles who chairs the group.