Admission to mental health facility

A person with a mental illness can be admitted to an authorised mental health service or public sector health service facility as a voluntary or involuntary patient.

Voluntary patients

A voluntary patient is a person with a mental illness who gives consent to be admitted, and because of their illness, the absence of treatment, or the absence of continued treatment, is likely to result in:

  1. imminent serious harm to the person or others; or
  2. the person suffering serious mental or physical deterioration.

Involuntary patients

An involuntary patient refers to a patient being admitted to a facility without giving consent. This consent must be the patient’s OWN consent. The Act supersedes the provisions of the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000 and the Powers of Attorney Act 1998, or any other law.

An involuntary patient is subject to one of the following: 

  • an examination authority;
  • a recommendation for assessment;
  • a treatment authority;
  • a forensic order;
  • a treatment support order;
  • a judicial order; or
  • a person detained in an authorised mental health service or public sector health service facility under section 36 (or section 366(4) if person is from another state).
Nominated support persons
Nominated support persons
The person with a mental illness is able to nominate, by written notice, up to two nominated support persons to help them express their views, wishes and preferences in treatment if they become an involuntary patient. A record of the appointment must be kept, and the appointing person can revoke it by giving written notice to the nominated support person. The nominated support person may receive confidential information relating to the patient; request a psychiatrist report; and, to the extent permitted, act as a support person or represent the person in the tribunal.
Patient rights advisers
Patient rights advisers
An independent Patient Rights Adviser will be appointed to advise patients and their nominated support persons, family, carers and other support persons of their rights under the Act. The Patient Rights Advisor will also help patients, their families, carers and nominated support person to communicate with health practitioners, and educate patients and carers about advance health care directives and Enduring Powers of Attorney.