The Mental Health Act 2016 (the Act) commenced on 5 March 2017, replacing the Mental Health Act 2000. The Act is regulated by Queensland Health, particularly, the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist.
Click here for a brief overview of the Act prepared by Queensland Health.
The Act has 3 main objects:
- to improve and maintain the health and wellbeing of persons who have a mental illness who do not have the capacity to consent to be treated
- to enable persons to be diverted from the criminal justice system if found to have been of unsound mind at the time of committing an unlawful act or to be unfit for trial
- to protect the community if persons diverted from the criminal justice system may be at risk of harming others.
The main objects are to be achieved in a way that:
- safeguards the rights of persons
- is the least restrictive of the rights and liberties of a person who has a mental illness
- promotes the recovery of a person who has a mental illness, and the person’s ability to live in the community, without the need for involuntary treatment and care.
The Act is also built around two sets of principles - one set applies to persons who have, or may have, a mental illness and the other applies to victims of an unlawful act.
Further information about the Act, including differences between the Act and its predecessor, can be found here.