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Mental Health Tribunal

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News: 2017 changes to the Mental Health Act

A number of changes have been made to the Mental Health Act 2013. These come into effect on 1 July 2017 and affect doctors, patients and others who deal with the Mental Health Tribunal.

Patient’s rights and protection have not been removed or reduced by these changes.

Some of the key changes include:

  • streamlining the processes for patient assessment, treatment and care
  • improving the way all patients are provided with emergency ‘urgent circumstances’ treatments when needed
  • extending the timeframes for the Mental Health Tribunal’s review of treatment orders, from 30 to 60 days; and 90 to 180 days
  • allowing the Mental Health Tribunal to make treatment orders that span different settings; and in certain conditions, authorising patients to be re-admitted or detained in an approved hospital.

All the changes

Read these fact sheets about the 2017 changes to the Mental Health Act:

Summary of all Act changes (PDF, 46.2 KB)

Summary of changes Mental Health Tribunal functions (PDF, 40.1 KB)

Changes specific to Treatment Orders (PDF, 41.6 KB)

Changes specific to Assessment Orders (PDF, 38.9 KB)

About the Act

The Mental Health Act 2013 provides authorisation for people with a mental illness who lack decision-making capacity to receive the treatment they need. This treatment is to ensure the safety and health of the patient and/or others in the community.

Key features include:

  • a person with capacity cannot be treated against their will
  • decisions about treatment and treatment settings can be made within one set of laws by a single body (the Mental Health Tribunal)
  • a single treatment order enables the authorisation of treatment in a hospital, in the community, or a combination of both
  • all determinations made under the Act are reviewable by the Mental Health Tribunal
  • all treatment orders can be reviewed by the Mental Health Tribunal at any time.

See the full Mental Health Act 2013.