Invitation to Comment: The Review of the Mental Health (Treatment & Care) Act 1994 (Closing 29 January 2010)

The purpose of the Review of the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994 (the Act) is to ensure the Act reflects best practice in mental health law, as it has developed over the last 10 years. The introduction of the ACT Human Rights Act 2004 (the HR Act), and the required review for compatibility with the HR Act, provides an appropriate context in which the Review will be carried out.

The purpose of the review

The purpose of the Review of the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994 (the Act) is to ensure the Act reflects best practice in mental health law, as it has developed over the last 10 years. The introduction of the ACT Human Rights Act 2004 (the HR Act), and the required review for compatibility with the HR Act, provides an appropriate context in which the Review will be carried out.

The Review Policy Management Team oversights the Review and facilitates Government processes and engagement. Key stakeholders from the Government and Community Service Sector are engaged via the Review Advisory Committee. This committee reviews written submissions, debates issues and makes recommendations to the Government. The general community will be engaged via multiple public forums and written feedback.

The Mental Health Act 2007 Review Options paper discussed various options for the key themes that emerged from the consultations on the 2006 Discussion Paper. Taking into consideration the consultations and written feedback on the Options Paper the Review Advisory Committee recommended that forensic mental health options and the model of legislation required further research and to be brought back to the community for consultation.

Community consultation

Public forums

As part of the public consultation, three public forums will be held. These will be advertised in The Canberra Times. Written submissions will be accepted until close of business 29 January, 2010.

New papers for public consultation

The next stage of the consultation process has begun with the Minister for Health and Attorney General approving the release of two new papers for public consultation. These are:

The Framework of Mental Health and Related Legislation in the ACT: An Options Paper

The Framework Options Paper explores the relationship between the Mental Health (Treatment and Care) Act 1994 and related ACT legislation. Together these provide for decision-making in respect of certain vulnerable residents of the ACT including people with mental illness, people with mental dysfunction conditions and people who have impaired mental capacity. Three Framework Options are canvassed and stakeholders are invited to consider the treatment of these issues in the context of the Framework Options provided, and to indicate their preferences for a Framework Option overall.

Download: Framework of Mental Health and Related Legislation in the ACT (September 2009) (PDF File – 343k)

Forensic Mental Health Options Paper

The Forensic Options Paper explores the interface between criminal justice and therapeutic considerations in forensic mental health. The review of the Mental Health Act provides an important opportunity to systematically improve the law covering the treatment, care and detention of forensic patients in the ACT. These improvements are to better reflect best practise in the light of the ACT Human Rights Act 2004.

Download: Forensic Mental Health Options Paper (November 2009) (PDF File – 264k)

Public forums

As part of the public consultation, three public forums will be held.

When: Tuesday 8 December 2009 (12.30pm – 2.00pm)
Where: Tuggeranong Community Centre, Cowlishaw St, Tuggeranong. Jetty Room

When: Wednesday 9 December 2009 (5.15pm – 7.00pm)
Where: Griffin Centre, Genge St, Canberra City, meeting room 9

When: Friday 11 December 2009 (12.30pm – 2.00pm)
Where: Belconnen Community Centre, Swanson St, meeting room 1

Download

Historic documents

Download: Review of the Mental Health (Treatment & Care) Act 1994 Discussion Paper (PDF File – 339k)
Review of the Mental Health (Treatment & Care) Corrigenda (PDF File – 26k)

Written submissions will be accepted until close of business 29 January 2010.

You have the option of your submission being hosted on the ACT Health website.

For further information contact Rebecca Dawson on 6205 5030 or email [email protected]

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The North Canberra Community Council receives support and funding from the ACT Government

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