The Mental Health Act 2000 came into force on 28 February 2002. It replaced the Mental Health Act 1974.
The purpose of the Mental Health Act 2000 is to provide for the involuntary assessment, treatment and protection of the mentally ill while at the same time safeguarding their rights and balancing these rights against the rights of others. The rights of voluntary patients are protected by the Health Rights Commission Act 1991 and the Health Services Act 1991.
The Mental Health Court decides if a patient was of unsound mind at the time an offence is committed or if the patient is not fit for trial at the time they are before the Court. It also decides whether or not a forensic order should be made.
The Mental Health Review Tribunal decides:
- Whether involuntary treatment orders made by doctors and psychiatrists should continue;
- Whether forensic orders made by the Mental Health Court should continue and if so, what limited community treatment the patient should have;
- applications for electroconvulsive therapy;
- applications for involuntary patients to move out of Queensland and
- applications for Forensic Patient Information Orders.
Most Tribunal decisions can be appealed to the Mental Health Court.
Authorised Mental Health Services provide for the examination, admission, assessment, treatment and, if necessary, the detention of people who have a mental illness. It is the role of the Director of Mental Health to oversee the administration of the Act and ensure the purpose, principles and provisions are being applied.