The Mental Health Act 2013
The Mental Health Act 2013 has been in operation since 17 February 2014.
The Act balances consumer rights with the need for treatment, while also recognising the important role played by carers and family members of people with a mental illness. It enables individuals with capacity to make their own treatment choices, while facilitating treatment for individuals who lack decision-making capacity and who need treatment for their own health or safety, or for the safety of others.
The legislation represents a significant improvement in the protection of the rights of mental health consumers in Tasmania.
As is to be expected with any new piece of legislation introducing a significantly different framework, a period of adjustment has been required while the Act is embedded in operational practice. The Mental Health Act project team, including the Chief Psychiatrist continues to work with stakeholders to provide revised and updated information, training and education resources and transparent discussion as issues arise.
The Chief Psychiatrist and representatives from the Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Directorate also continue to work closely with the Mental Health Tribunal to review and refine any issues and identify ways in which the Act's operation could be improved.
Information and Training Resources
A wide-range of information, education and training resources have been developed and are available online at www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/mentalhealth then click on the Mental Health Act logo.
General Information and Fact Sheets are available on a wide-range of topics including:
- An Overview of the Mental Health Act
- What do I need to know? Information for Carers, Family Members, Representatives and Support Persons
- Statement of Rights – for Involuntary Patients; Forensic Patients and Seclusion and Restraint
- A Comprehensive Guide to the Mental Health Act 2013 for Clinicians
Education and Training Resources are available on a wide-range of topics including, but not limited to:
- General Awareness
- The role and function of the Chief Psychiatrists
- Consumer and Carer Rights
- Seclusion and Restraint
- The role and function of the Mental Health Tribunal
A number of flow charts have also been made available online.
These resources continue to be revised and updated, and we encourage you to check back regularly at www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/mentalhealth and click on the Mental Health Act logo to ensure you have access to the most current information.
New Mental Health Act Project Team
Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Directorate
St Johns Park
New Town Tasmania 7008
Ph: 03 6166 0781
Fax: 03 6230 7739
If you need immediate assistance or support, please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Mental Health Helpline on
1800 332 388.
For further information about mental health and suicide contact the SANE Australia helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263) or www.sane.org or www.lifeline.org.au or talk to your local GP, health professional or someone you trust.