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Department of Justice

Mental Health Act changes

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

This Act authorises people in Tasmania with a mental illness who lack decision-making capacity to receive the treatment they need for their health and safety, or for the health and safety of others.

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

Some of the changes specific to patient care include:

  • Streamlining the processes for patient assessment, treatment and care.
  • Improving the way patients are provided with emergency ‘urgent circumstances’ treatments when needed; and streamlining the process for authorising these treatments.
  • Ensuring that eligible people (for example, victims of an offence or parents/ guardians of a child victim) are consulted about extending or varying the leave granted to certain patients.

Some of the changes specific to treatment orders include:

  • Extending the timeframes for the 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.

For more information

You can find further information about all the changes and how they may affect you at  the Mental Health Tribunal website.

Refer to the Mental Health Act in full at the Tasmanian Legislation website.