Mental Health Act 2016

The Mental Health Act 2016 commenced on 5 March 2017, replacing the Mental Health Act 2000.

The purpose of the Mental Health Act 2016 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. Click here for a brief explanation on what has changed in the Act.

The Mental Health Act 2000 (the Act) established the Mental Health Court and the Mental Health Review Tribunal.

The Mental Health Court decides if a patient was of unsound mind at the time an offense 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 Act 2016 represents a major step forward for patient rights and will strengthen the role of family and support persons.

Consumers, clinicians, legal professionals and the wider community will all benefit from the Act’s improved and simplified practices, and increased focus on patient rights and recovery.

The Mental Health Review Tribunal decides:

  1. Whether involuntary treatment orders made by doctors and psychiatrists should continue;
  2. Whether forensic orders made by the Mental Health Court should continue and if so, what limited community treatment the patient should have;
  3. applications for electroconvulsive therapy;
  4. applications for involuntary patients to move out of Queensland and
  5. applications for Forensic Patient Information Orders.
  6. applications for Examination Authorities.

Most Tribunal decisions can be appealed to the Mental Health Court.

Authorized 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.

For more information consult the MHA2016 Regulation, and MHA2017 Transitional Regulation