Mental health and the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)

Many people think a physical or sensory impairment is a disability and a mental impairment is not. If you have a mental health problem, you may be covered by the Disability Discrimination Act.

The Disability Discrimination Act

If your mental illness has a significant, adverse and long-term effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, it is likely you are covered by the Disability Discrimination Act. The act also covers people who had a disability in the past.

The act doesn't impairments that are covered, but considers the effects of an impairment on a person.

For example, someone with a mild form of depression with only minor effects may not be covered, while someone with severe depression with significant effects on their daily life is likely to be considered as having a disability under the act.

Many people with a mental health condition do not think of themselves as having a 'disability' - but they may have rights supported by the Disability Discrimination Act.

There are many different types of mental health conditions which can lead to a disability, including:

What the Disability Discrimination Act does

The Disability Discrimination Act aims to end discrimination against people with disabilities in a range of circumstances, including in employment, education and the provision of goods and services.

For instance, if a student with a personality disorder was refused entry to college because of that their disability may make them disruptive, this could be unlawful disability discrimination, unless it can be justified.  

To read more information about everyday circumstances when the law applies, go to:

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