Key messages

  • The mental health principles guide the provision of mental health services.
  • A mental health service provider must have regard to the mental health principles when providing mental health services.
  • A person must have regard to the principles in performing any duty or function or exercising any power under or in accordance with the Mental Health Act 2014.

What is the purpose of the mental health principles?

The mental health principles guide the provision of mental health services. A mental health service provider must have regard to the mental health principles when providing mental health services. A person must have regard to the principles in performing any duty or function or exercising any power under or in accordance with the Mental Health Act 2014.

What are the mental health principles?

The Act contains a number of principles to guide the provision of mental health services as follows:

  • Persons receiving mental health services should be provided assessment and treatment in the least restrictive way possible with voluntary assessment and treatment preferred.
  • Persons receiving mental health services should be provided those services with the aim of bringing about the best possible therapeutic outcomes and promoting recovery and full participation in community life.
  • Persons receiving mental health services should be involved in all decisions about their assessment, treatment and recovery and be supported to make, or participate in those decisions and their views and preferences should be respected.
  • Persons receiving mental health services should be allowed to make decisions about their assessment, treatment and recovery that involve a degree of risk.
  • Persons receiving mental health services should have their rights, dignity and autonomy respected and promoted.
  • Persons receiving mental health services should have their medical and other health needs, including any alcohol and other drug problems, recognised and responded to.
  • Persons receiving mental health services should have their individual needs (whether as to culture, language, communication, age, disability, religion, gender, sexuality or other matters) recognised and responded to.
  • Aboriginal persons receiving mental health services should have their distinct culture and identity recognised and responded to.
  • Children and young persons receiving mental health services should have their best interests recognised and promoted as a primary consideration, including receiving services separately from adults, whenever this is possible.
  • Children, young persons and other dependents of persons receiving mental health services should have their needs, wellbeing and safety recognised and protected.
  • Carers (including children) for persons receiving mental health services should be involved in decisions about assessment, treatment and recovery, whenever this is possible.
  • Carers (including children) for persons receiving mental health services should have their role recognised, respected and supported.