Promoting mental health, demystifying mental illness, countering stigma and discrimination

The Mental Health Act - 1992 and 1999

Most people receiving treatment for their mental illness are voluntary patients. This means that they choose the kind of treatment that they want to receive, have some say about which health professionals they see and can stop their treatment at any time. Sometimes, people who experience mental illness can become so unwell that they are unable to take care of themselves or they are posing a serious danger to themselves or others. When this happens, an application can be made to have the person assessed under the Mental Health Act.

Compulsory assessment and treatment occurs when a person is assessed and treated for their mental illness against their will and without their consent.

The Mental Health Act 1969 provided the basis for the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment Amendments) Act 1992 and 1999.

See also:

Mental Health Commission Act 1998

Report by the Privacy Commissioner to the Minister of Justice in relation to the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Amendment Bill 1998.

Your Rights Under the Mental Health Act

Section 2 of the Mental Health Act defines the titles of those whom it refers to, throughout the legislation.

In plain English the Director of Area Mental Health Services (DAMHS) is the person who receives applications to have people assessed under the Mental Health Act. He/she also oversees treatment process provided by TDHB Mental Health Services.

In Taranaki the Director of Mental Health Services is Dr. Alan Binnie.

Family/whanau who write to Dr. Binnie specifying that they are the Primary Care Giver of their loved one with a mental illness, MUST be included in the assessment, care and treatment of their family member.

If you would like a SF Fieldworker to complete this for you, on your computer, or if you have any queries please contact the SF New Plymouth office at 06 7539700

Click here to download  PDF of The Mental Health Act Assessment steps.

Taranaki Mental Health Sector