Mental Health Services Mental Health Services

Healthcare Rights and Mental Health

Healthcare Rights

Everyone who is seeking or receiving healthcare in Australia has rights related to that care. These rights apply to all people, in all places where healthcare is provided in Australia. This includes General hospitals and specialist mental health services, private and public service, day hospitals, general practice and community health services.
The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights describes these rights that you, or the person you care for can expect when receiving healthcare.
Across all healthcare services you have the right to:

  • Access
  • Safety
  • Respect
  • Partnership
  • Information
  • Privacy
  • Give feedback

Rights Specific to Mental Health

The Mental Health statement of rights and responsibilities (2012)

The Australian Government has endorsed the Mental Health statement of rights and responsibilities. This document is a dynamic and aspirational statement that reflects modern mental health care concepts and contemporary human rights legislation. Rights and responsibilities are described across eight domains:

  • Inherent dignity and equal protection
  • Non-discrimination and social inclusion
  • The promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental illnesses
  • The rights and responsibilities of individuals who seek assessment, support, care, treatment, rehabilitation and recovery
  • Rights and responsibilities of carers and support persons
  • Rights and responsibilities of people who provide services
  • Rights and responsibilities of the community
  • Governance

The Mental Health Act NSW (2007)

You have specific rights in relation to Mental Health Care under the Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW). These rights include the right to be treated in an environment of least restrictive care that is safe, to participate in your care and have your preferences taken into account, and be informed about care, treatment, costs, alternatives, side effects and risks.

Under the Act a consumer can nominate a Designated Carer or Principal care provider who will have rights to be informed of certain events affecting a person’s health care.

A person, or their Carer, has the right to request a visit from the Official Visitors if they have concerns about a person’s care under the Mental Health Act.

Further information
The following SLHD information sheets will provide further information and contact numbers for support:

These sites have good information on the Act and Mental Health care