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
In 2018 the ACT Government held a public consultation on the time period of emergency detention. The period of emergency detention was increased from 7 days to 11 days when the new Act came in to effect and this extension was singled out for review. The report on this consultation is underway and will be presented to the Legislative Assembly by the Minister for Mental Health.
You are invited to have your say on ACT’s Mental Health Act 2015
The ACT Government is again seeking your feedback on the Mental Health Act 2015. The 2019 consultation will focus on the involuntary orders that can be made under the Act:
- Psychiatric treatment orders;
- Community care orders;
- Forensic psychiatric treatment orders; and
- Forensic community care orders.
In the 2018 public consultation the ACT Government sought feedback on the period of emergency detention. Feedback on emergency detention is still welcomed and will be considered in the final report.
You are also invited to comment generally 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.
Your views will be used to inform a second report 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Consultations open April 2019