The Tribunal is an independent body established under the Mental Health Act 1996 to protect the rights of people placed on involuntary orders for mental illness. It provides an independent review, and makes decisions about whether the involuntary order will continue or not.
In making its decisions, the Tribunal must consider the right of the individual to receive necessary treatment, the loss of freedom that the individual experiences when they are treated involuntarily, and, the interests of the community.
The Tribunal plays no role in relation to persons who voluntarily seek treatment for a mental illness.
The Mental Health Tribunal
conducts hearings about a patient's involuntary status and automatically reviews Continuing Care Orders (CCO) and Community Treatment Orders (CTO) within 28 days of the order being made;
hears Applications for Review within 21 days of receiving the application, applications for a review of an authorisation for temporary admission (ATO) and applications to transfer an involuntary patient from an approved hospital to the Wilfred Lopes Centre for treatment; and
monitors seclusion and restraint and can issue guidelines relating to the circumstances in which these methods of control can be used in approved hospitals.
A Continuing Care Order (CCO) allows a person who appears to have a mental illness to be detained in an approved hospital against their will for up to a maximum of six months.
A Continuing Care Order does not allow a person to receive treatment in the approved hospital against their will. If a person is to be given treatment without their informed consent then that treatment must be authorised by the Guardianship and Administration Board or be given with the consent of a person responsible.
For more information regarding the giving of medical treatment without consent please refer to www.guardianship.tas.gov.au.
A Community Treatment Order (CTO) allows for involuntary treatment in a community setting for up to twelve months.
A Community Treatment Order specifies the conditions which the patient must meet in order to comply with the order.
If a person fails to comply with the conditions of their community treatment order they can be returned to hospital and detained there against their will for up to seven days.
This detention is pursuant to an Authorisation for Temporary Admission.
If a person fails to comply with a condition of a Community Treatment Order and,
they can be admitted to hospital against their will for a period not exceeding fourteen days.
The Tribunal will not review this admission unless the person makes application to the Tribunal for a review to occur. If application for a review is made the Tribunal will hold a hearing within seven days of the receipt of the application.