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Mental Health Act 2000 – 1 September 2015

Mental Health Regulation 2002 – 6 November 2015

Mental Health Review Tribunal Rule 2009 – 1 July 2011

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A request for (mental health) assessment for a person must be made by someone who: is an adult; and (b) reasonably believes the person has a mental illness of a nature, or to an extent, that involuntary assessment is necessary; and (c) has observed the person within 3 days before making the request. The request must also be made in the approved form. For the definition of ‘mental illness’, refer to section 12 of the Act.

  • Sections 12, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24

A recommendation for assessment for a person may only be made by a doctor or authorised mental health practitioner who has examined the person within the preceding 3 days. A recommendation for assessment must: (a) be in the approved form; and (b) state the facts on which it is based; and (c) distinguish between the facts known because of personal observation and facts communicated by others. A doctor or authorised mental health practitioner must not make a recommendation for assessment for a person unless the doctor or practitioner is satisfied the assessment criteria apply to the person. For what constitutes the ‘assessment criteria’, refer to section 13 of the Act. For emergency examination orders by psychiatrists, refer to section 37 of the Act.

  • Sections 13, 19, 20, 21, 23, 37

A health practitioner or ambulance officer may take a person for whom assessment documents are in force to an authorised mental health service for assessment. For what constitutes ‘assessment documents’, refer to section 16 of the Act. If asked by a health practitioner or ambulance officer, a police officer must, as soon as reasonably practicable, ensure reasonable help is given. For the definition of ‘authorised mental health service’, refer to section 15 of the Act.

  • Sections 15, 16, 25, 26

A person may apply to a magistrate or justice of the peace for a justices examination order for another person. The application for the order must: (a) be made by: (i) if made to a  magistrate – filing an application in the approved form with the registrar of a Magistrates Court; or (ii) if made to a justice of the peace – giving an application in the approved form to the justice; and (b) be sworn and state the grounds on which it is made. The application may be made even if the applicant has not made a request for assessment for the person. A magistrate or justice of the peace may make a justices examination order relating to a person only if the magistrate or justice reasonably believes: (a) the person has a mental illness; and (b) the person should be examined by a doctor or authorised mental health practitioner to decide whether a recommendation for assessment for the person be made; and (c) the examination can not be properly carried out unless the order is made. Pursuant to section 30 of the Act, the justices examination order authorises a doctor or authorised mental health practitioner to examine the person to decide whether a recommendation for assessment for the person should be made.

  • Sections 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32

If a police officer or an ambulance officer reasonably believes: (a) a person has a mental illness; and (b) because of the person’s illness there is an imminent risk of significant physical harm being sustained by the person or someone else; and (c) proceeding under division 2 would cause dangerous delay and significantly increase the risk of harm to the person or someone else; and (d) the person should be taken to an authorised mental health service for examination to decide whether a request and recommendation for assessment should be made for the person; THEN The police officer or ambulance officer must take the person to an authorised mental health service for examination to decide whether assessment documents for the person should be made.

  • Sections 33, 34, 35, 36

When assessment documents are in force for a person, the person may be detained in an authorised mental health service for assessment for the assessment period. On the production or making of the assessment documents, the person becomes an involuntary patient. The process triggers a notification requirement whereby the patient, parent, guardian, attorney is to be notified of the assessment pursuant to section 45 of the Act. Initial assessment of the patient is by virtue of section 46 of the Act.

  • Sections 42, 44, 45, 46, 48

Where there are persons before court or in custody requiring (mental health) assessment or detention, the requirements for assessment are provided for by section 49 of the Act. For when a plea of not-guilty may be ordered on the basis of mental ill-health, refer to sections 61 and 62 of the Act. When the relevant documents are in force, the person to be assessed becomes a classified patient. Notification of assessment is to be provided pursuant to section 70 of the Act. Section 71 of the Act provides for the initial assessment of the person to be assessed. On the person becoming a classified patient, proceedings for any offence, other than an offence against a Commonwealth law, against the person are suspended until the person ceases to be a classified patient – see section 75 of the Act. For some special evidentiary rules relating to export reports, etc, see sections 315, 316, 317 and 318 of the Act.

  • Sections 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 90A, 91, 92, 94, 95, 101, 186, 214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 256, 257, 258, 259, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 269, 270, 271, 272, 273, 280, 281, 282, 283, 284, 288, 291, 293, 299, 300, 301, 310, 311, 312, 313, 315, 316, 317, 318, 464, 540, 543, 544

A person must not administer to another person: (a) insulin induced coma therapy; or (b) deep sleep therapy. Other treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy, psychosurgery and mechanical restraints are restricted – see sections 139, 161 and 162D of the Act. For the definitions of ‘electroconvulsive therapy’ and ‘psychosurgery’, refer to the Schedule of the Act.

  • Sections 10, 139, 161, 162, 162D, 162E, 229, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, Schedule

The director may, on application made to the director by an eligible person, make a classified patient information order about a classified patient that the eligible person may be given notice of any of the following information: (a) the fact that the patient is detained in an authorised mental health service as a classified patient; (b) the fact that an approval has been given for limited community treatment for the patient, etc. For the definition of ‘eligible person’, refer to subsection 318C(6) of the Act. Note: A similar application may be made for forensic orders pursuant to section 318O of the Act.

  • Sections 318C, 318D, 318E, 318F, 318G, 318H, 318O, 527

An involuntary patient may choose any 1 of the following persons, other than a health service employee at the patient’s treating health service, who is capable, readily available and willing to be the patient’s allied person for this Act: (a) if the patient is a minor – a parent of the minor or the minor’s guardian; (b) if the patient has a personal guardian – the guardian; (c) if the patient has a personal attorney – the attorney; (d) an adult relative or adult close friend of the patient; (e) an adult carer of the patient; (f) another adult. The function of an involuntary patient’s allied person is to help the patient to represent the patient’s views, wishes and interests relating to the patient’s assessment, detention, treatment and care under this Act. For the definition of ‘involuntary patient’, refer to the Schedule of the Act.

  • Sections 10, 340, 341, 342, 343, Schedule

The Director of Mental Health must prepare a written statement about the rights of involuntary patients, called a statement of rights. The statement must contain information about the following: (a) the rights of patients and allied persons for patients under this Act; (b) the rights of patients to make complaints about the service provided at an authorised mental health service and how the complaints are made. The statement may also contain anything else the director considers appropriate, including, for example, information from relevant standards for providing mental health services.

  • Sections 344, 345, 346, 488

A health practitioner may, at any reasonable time of the day or night: (a) visit and examine an involuntary patient in an authorised mental health service; or (b) consult with an authorised doctor for the health service about the patient’s treatment or care. In addition, a legal or other adviser for an involuntary patient in an authorised mental health service may, at any reasonable time of the day or night, visit the patient. Note: The health practitioner or adviser may exercise this power if asked by the patient or someone else on behalf of the patient; and under arrangements made with the administrator of the health service.

  • Section 347

The administrator of an authorised mental health service may refuse to allow a person to visit a patient in the health service if the administrator is satisfied the proposed visit will adversely affect the patient’s treatment or care.

  • Section 374

The Mental Health Court is established as a superior court of record. For the jurisdiction of the court, refer to section 383 of the Act. For who may appear before the court, refer to section 403 of the Act. For the rule relating to costs, refer to section 415 of the Act. Rules of court may be made pursuant to section 419 of the Act.

  • Sections 381, 383, 384, 403, 404, 405, 409, 412, 413, 414, 415, 416, 419, 420, 427

The Mental Health Review Tribunal is established. The jurisdiction of the tribunal is set out in section 437 of the Act. There are a number of rules governing who may appear at a tribunal – see sections 450, 451, 451A, 452, 453, 454, 454A, 455 of the Act. For the rule relating to costs, refer to section 476 of the Act. Rules of the tribunal may be made pursuant to section 479 of the Act. 1 rule has been made – it is the Mental Health Review Tribunal Rule 2009.

  • Sections 436, 437, 438, 439, 450, 451, 451A, 452, 453, 454, 454A, 455, 456, 459, 460, 460A, 476, 479, 480

A person must not publish a report of a proceeding, or a decision on a proceeding, in the Mental Health Court or Court of Appeal for a reference before the end of the prescribed day after the decision on the proceeding. For the definition of ‘prescribed day’, refer to subsection 524(2) of the Act. For the definition of ‘publish’, refer to the Schedule of the Act.

  • Sections 10, 524, 525, 526, Schedule

If a provision of this Act requires a person to tell or explain something to a patient, the person must do so: (a) in the language or way the patient is most likely to understand; and (b) in a way that has appropriate regard to the patient’s age, culture, mental illness, communication ability and any disability.

  • Section 541A
Reason for law

To provide for the involuntary assessment and treatment, and the protection, of persons (whether adults or minors) who have mental illnesses while at the same time: (a) safeguarding their rights and freedoms; and (b) balancing their rights and freedoms with the rights and freedoms of other persons. (Section 4)

Relevant links

Mental health and wellbeing [Queensland Government]

Mental Health [Queensland Health]

Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT)

Mental Health Court

Queensland Mental Health Commission

New Mental Health Act 2016 [Crown Law]

Media article

Centrelink debt debacle is bad policy for mental health

Critique

A note in the text of the Act is part of the Act pursuant to section 11. This may not be a common practice for Acts.

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PLEASE NOTE: The information published on this webpage may be out-of-date. Please compare the currency date of the Act/Regulation against that published on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website. If you require access to Commonwealth statute law, please visit the ComLaw website. If you require access to the local council laws (by-laws), please visit the Local laws database.

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