This commentary reviews proposals in a white paper published in January 2021 to reform the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended in 2007) (MHA) in England and Wales. The government launched a public consultation period on the proposals which closed on 21 April 2021. The government published the consultation outcome and its response to it on 24 August 2021. Over 1,700 responses were received to the consultation, which were broadly supportive of the white paper and the need to modernise the MHA.1 A draft Bill is expected in autumn 2021 with more details of the government’s plans to reform the law. The white paper is the culmination of a relatively lengthy period of review following widespread concerns about the operation of the MHA and recommendations of an Independent Review of the MHA, which reported in December 2018.