Most people receive treatment for their mental illnesses as voluntary patients. They make their own choices about their treatment, and in general have the right to refuse treatment. However, because some people with a mental illness are unable to make these treatment decisions for themselves, a psychiatrist will apply to the Tribunal to make a decision about whether compulsory treatment is required.
A person made subject to compulsory treatment is known as a “compulsory patient”. Throughout the patient’s treatment, the mental health service must ensure that the patient continues to meet the relevant criteria in the Mental Health Act 2014 to receive treatment as a compulsory patient.
Answers to frequently asked questions about Mental Health Tribunal hearings and Compulsory Treatment are available here.
For further information about Victoria’s mental health services, please visit the Victorian Department of Health’s website.