A bill proposing strengthening the rights of families of patients who are being dealt with under the Mental Health Act will be debated in Parliament next year.

Labour MP Winnie Laban's Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment Bill was pulled from the ballot today, meaning it will probably be up for its first reading early next year.

This bill seeks to clarify a family's rights, to ensure that they are provided with sufficient information to make informed decisions about their loved ones, and about mental illness in general so that they are better equipped to give full support to their family member.

Ms Laban said she would be looking for support from other parties to send the matter to select committee.

Members' bills travel slowly through Parliament and with the current composition of Parliament need the support of National or every other political party to make progress.

- NZPA