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Know your rights

Overview

The Mental Health Act 2014 (the Act) and associated regulations set out your rights if you are receiving mental health services. The objects of the Act are as follows —

1. to ensure people who have a mental illness are provided the best possible treatment and care:

(i) with the least possible restriction of their freedom; and

(ii) with the least possible interference with their rights; and

(iii) with respect for their dignity;

2. to recognise the role of carers and families in the treatment, care and support of people who have a mental illness;

3. to recognise and facilitate the involvement of people who have a mental illness, their nominated persons and their carers and families in the consideration of the options that are available for their treatment and care;

4. to help minimise the effect of mental illness on family life;

5. to ensure the protection of people who have or may have a mental illness;

6. to ensure the protection of the community.

The Act also refers to a Charter of Mental Health Care Principles which all mental health services must make every effort to comply with, and people performing functions under the Act must have regard to. There are also National Standards for Mental Health Services.

Even when you are an involuntary patient, you still have rights under the Act. Mental Health Advocates can help you to understand and enforce those rights. Phone or email us and we will arrange for an Advocate to contact you.

To find out more about the rights of people with a mental illness both voluntary and involuntary, follow the link to the page on the Mental Health Commission website which sets out the “RIGHTS OF PATIENTS” and the “RIGHTS OF PERSONAL SUPPORT PERSONS”.