Allied Persons

Who is an Allied Person?

Under the Mental Health Act 2000 the patient may choose an Allied Person. The person could be a parent or other relative of the patient, a guardian or personal attorney, or any other adult. The person is not automatically the Allied Person for the patient, but must be chosen by the patient to have that role. Forms for the patient to nominate an Allied Person are available from the mental health service.

In some cases, if the patient does not have capacity to choose an Allied Person, the administrator of the mental health service will appoint someone. The Allied Person must not be a paid carer of the patient, or an employee of the health service.

What does an Allied Person do?

The role of the Allied Person at a Tribunal hearing is to support the patient to put forward their views, wishes and interests about their involuntary treatment. For example, the Allied Person may help the patient explain how they are feeling, and what decision they would like from the hearing. The Allied Person also supports the patient at other times while they are receiving involuntary treatment.

Can the Allied Person apply for a review of the patient’s involuntary treatment?

Yes, the Allied Person can apply to the Tribunal on behalf of the patient receiving involuntary treatment. An application form is part of the A Brief Guide to the Tribunal Brochure, and is available from the Tribunal’s website or office, and from the mental health service.

How can the Allied Person help the patient before the hearing?

The Allied Person can help the patient with:

  • finding a lawyer or advocate, if the patient wants to be represented at the hearing
  • asking the Tribunal to arrange a language interpreter or cultural support to assist the patient, if necessary
  • helping the patient to arrange to read the doctor’s report before the hearing
  • helping the patient to write his/her views about his/ her involuntary treatment to the Tribunal. The patient may complete a Self Report form which is also sent out with the hearing notice. It is also available from the Tribunal office.

Can the Allied Person attend the hearing?

Yes. The Allied Person may attend the hearing with (or on behalf of) the patient. The Tribunal will send a letter to the Allied Person, and the patient, that will state the date, time, and place of the hearing.

Can the Allied Person speak at the hearing?

Yes. The Allied Person can say anything that will support the patient in putting forward his/her views, wishes and interests. For example, the Allied Person may ask questions, give information and explain the patient’s view of the situation. It is important that the Allied Person knows what the patient wants to say at the hearing.

Will the Allied Person be given the decision?

Yes. If the patient and the Allied Person attend the hearing, they will be given the decision on the day. A written decision will also be sent to both the patient and the Allied Person after the hearing.

How can the Allied Person help the patient after the hearing?

The Allied Person can help the patient with:

  • asking the Tribunal for reasons for the decision (“Statement of Reasons”). Please note that the reasons will be sent to the patient, not the Allied Person
  • lodging an appeal with the Mental Health Court if the patient disagrees with the decision of the Tribunal. Appeals must be lodged in writing within 60 days of receiving the written decision. More information about appeals is available from: The Registrar, Mental Health Court Phone: (07) 3234 0703
  • giving feedback to the Tribunal about the hearing process. The patient may download the ‘How was your MHRT Hearing?’ form and send it completed to the Tribunal, postage paid.

Complaints

If the Allied Person, or the patient, is dissatisfied with any aspect of the process associated with the Tribunal hearing, he/she may make a complaint to the President.

Feedback on how hearings could be improved may also be given to the Consumer Consultant on (07) 3235 9059.