Mental health treatment

Transition issues from compulsory treatment under the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 (MHWA) to medical treatment decisions by a medical treatment decision maker under the Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 (MTPDA)

Treatment for mental illness

While a person is a ‘mental health patient’ (that is, a ‘patient’ under the MHWA, who is subject to a compulsory treatment order), their medical treatment decision maker cannot make decisions about treatment for their mental illness.

If the person’s compulsory treatment order is to be revoked, then medical treatment decisions may potentially to be made under the MTPDA.

‘Medical treatment’ in the MTPDA includes:

  • treatment for mental illness
  • treatment with prescription pharmaceuticals.

Treatment for mental illness in the MTPDA is defined to mean things that are done in the course of the exercise of professional skills to remedy a person’s mental illness or to alleviate the symptoms and reduce the ill effects of a person’s mental illness.

Medical treatment decisions relating to treatment for mental illness could include:

  • administration of prescription pharmaceuticals, such as psychotropic medication
  • electroconvulsive treatment (ECT).