Commencement of ACT Mental Health Act
The new Mental Health Act 2015 has come into in effect, giving those in the ACT living with mental illness greater opportunities to contribute to decisions on their treatment, care and support.
Minister for Health Simon Corbell said the new Act would create a fresh approach to service delivery and make the ACT’s mental health legislation better aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability and the ACT Human Rights Act.
“It’s about empowering people with a mental illness in our community to make critical decisions about their treatment, care and support to the best of their ability together with the involvement of carers, close family and friends. It is also about helping people to optimise their own recovery.
“The key principles driving the legislation create a legal environment geared toward supporting people in recovery from their illness, and providing the least restrictive care.
Through the legal strength of the Advance Agreement and Advance Consent Direction within the Act, people with a mental illness will now indicate the types of treatment they would prefer if they become unwell. They can appoint a nominated person to help them express their views and advocate on their behalf if they are unable to advocate for themselves, and can make provision for issues that are important to them.
“With the ongoing implementation of the new Act, we will continue to support service providers and other stakeholders in their provision of high standard, professional treatment and care to people experiencing a mental illness or a mental disorder.
The Mental Health Bill 2015, which was passed in the ACT legislative Assembly in September 2015, has been combined with the Mental Health Treatment and Care Amendment Act 2014 to create the new Mental Health Act 2015.
For more information about the new Act go to www.health.act.gov.au/mental-health.
See the Mental Health Act 2015 at http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/2015-38/default.asp
1 March 2016.