Ask Sam letter


To Sam

What happens if your sectioned and you go to school

hi sam,

i was just wondering if your still able to go to school and go on trips if youve been sectioned or admitted to a hospital for mental health issues?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Most mental health treatment happens outside of hospital, through appointments with a mental health professional. However, there are some mental health problems that mean a person may need to be sectioned. This can mean someone must stay in hospital for a period of time, or until the doctors think they are no longer dangerous to themselves or those around them.

The word sectioned is used because it comes from a section of the Mental Health Act - the law that gives medical professionals the power to keep someone for treatment against their will. There are different sections of the law which determine how long you might be treated for, as well as the type and severity of the problem.

If you’re in hospital after being sectioned, you have a right to an education. This might be provided in the hospital itself, or your school might send work to the hospital for you to do in your own time. If you don't feel like you are getting the right education whilst in hospital, you can talk to the hospital manager or your school so that they can make the right arrangements. Childline has advice about asking an adult for help, which can help you prepare if you feel nervous or uncomfortable.

If you’ve been sectioned, it’s your doctor's decision whether you’re allowed supervised leave - where you can go out for short periods of time. You may also be discharged under certain conditions that you must keep to. The best thing to do is talk to your doctor about what you’d like to do, and they can talk you through the specifics of your case and make recommendations.

If you feel like you have been sectioned unfairly, you can appeal against it, though you may need an adult to help you do that. Our Childline counsellors are always here to listen if you would like to talk to someone about how you are feeling and discuss your options.

Thank you for your letter, I hope this has helped.

Take care,


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