ACT’s Mental Health Act 2015
What is the ACT Mental Health Act 2015?
The Mental Health Act 2015 (the Act) refers to the legislation in the ACT that applies to the assessment, treatment, care and support of people experiencing a mental illness or mental disorder.
The Act is designed to empower people to participate in decisions about their health care and sets out the legal responsibilities of professionals, such as doctors, mental health workers, ambulance and police officers.
The Act was the result of considerable stakeholder and public consultation and seeks to promote a renewed recovery-oriented approach to mental health service delivery. It brings the ACT’s mental health legislation in line with human rights law including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability and the Human Rights Act 2004.
The Act came into effect on 1 March 2016, replacing the previous Mental Health (Treatment & Care) Act 1994.
Community consultation on the operation of the Mental Health Act 2015
You are invited to have your say on ACT’s Mental Health Act 2015
The ACT Government is seeking your feedback on the recent implementation of the Mental Health Act 2015.
You are invited to comment on the effectiveness of the Act. This includes achieving its aim of providing the best possible treatment, care and support in the least restrictive environment, to people who have a mental illness or mental disorder, their carers and families.
This review is happening in two parts:
- A public consultation on the authorised period of emergency detention under the Act
- A public consultation on the operation of mental health orders and forensic mental health orders under the Act
In addition to asking about specific provisions, general feedback on the operation of the Act and how it provides the best treatment, care and support for people is also welcome.
Your views will be used to inform reports that will be tabled by the Minister for Mental Health to the Legislative Assembly.
For more information about the review of the Mental Health Act 2015, contact ACT Health’s Mental Health Policy Unit on email@example.com
Consultations now open
Review of the authorised period of Emergency Detention
We’re looking for your feedback on the increase to the maximum allowable further period of emergency detention from seven days to 11 days.
In certain circumstances, detailed in the Act, a delegate of the Chief Psychiatrist (a psychiatrist) can authorise the emergency detention of a person for up to three days in an approved mental health facility.
If the person continues to meet the criteria after the three days, the new Act allows for the psychiatrist to apply to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) for a further period of detention of up to 11 days. In total, a person can be involuntarily detained under the Emergency Detention provisions of the Act for 14 days, compared to 10 days under the previous Act.
How to have your say
To be involved:
Please consider the following questions when making a written submission regarding section 85 of the Mental Health Act 2015:
- Has increasing the further period of emergency detention from a maximum of seven days to a maximum of 11 days had any positive effects? If so, what are they?
- Has increasing the further period of emergency detention from a maximum of seven days to a maximum of 11 days had any harmful effects? If so, what are they?
- Do you suggest any changes to this part of the Act that relates to the period of emergency detention? If so, what are they? Why do you make these suggestions?
This consultation will close at 5:00pm Friday 5 October 2018.
General feedback on the Mental Health Act 2015
We want to hear from people across the community on how the Act:
- is operating
- has influenced the culture of service delivery
- the extent to which the Act is promoting recovery for people experiencing mental illness or disorder.
How to have your say
To be involved:
- send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org or to:
Mental Health Act Review
Mental Health Policy Unit
GPO Box 825
Canberra City ACT 2601
- An online survey will be available in late 2018.
Please use the information below as a guide if you’re making a written submission:
The Act sets out objects and principles that aim to ensure the treatment, care and support received under the Act contributes effectively to people's recovery. It also aims to:
- maximise people's participation in decision-making about their mental health and recovery
- ensure that treatment, care and support is provided in a least restrictive manner
- respect people’s rights, dignity and needs; and
- support the appropriate involvement of families/carers and nominated people.
Please provide feedback on the overall implementation of the Mental Health Act 2015 in the ACT:
- Do you have any comments on the objects and principles of the Act and how the Act supports the best possible treatment, care and support for people with a mental illness or mental disorder in the ACT?
- Do you have any comments about the implementation of the Act? This could reflect your own or other people's experience of the treatment, care or support provided under the provisions of the Act.