Mental Health Act

Victoria’s Mental Health Act 2014 provides the criteria and process for implementing compulsory treatment when people are experiencing severe mental illness associated with the risk of harm to themselves or others.

The Mental Health Act establishes robust safeguards and oversights to protect the rights, dignity and autonomy of people with mental illness.

Victoria's Mental Health Act 2014 aims to place people with a mental illness at the centre of decision making about their treatment and care. It encourages mental health practitioners to:

  • develop and maintain strong relationships with people using mental health services
  • use effective communication and provide people with information and support in order to help them make informed choices about their care
  • support consumers, their family and carers to participate in treatment decisions and to have their views and preferences considered and respected

Core principles and objectives of the Act

A number of core principles and objectives underpin the Mental Health Act 2014. These include that:

  • assessment and treatment within mental health services are provided in the least intrusive and restrictive way
  • people are supported to make and participate in decisions about their assessment, treatment and recovery
  • the rights, dignity and autonomy of people accessing services are protected and promoted at all times
  • priority is given to care and support that are holistic and responsive to individual needs
  • the wellbeing and safety of children and young people are protected and prioritised
  • carers are recognised and supported in decisions about treatment and care