Can communication be restricted?
An authorised psychiatrist
can make a written direction to restrict an inpatient’s right to
communicate if they are satisfied that it is reasonably necessary to
protect the health, safety and wellbeing of the inpatient or another
person. The restriction must be the least restrictive possible in the
The authorised psychiatrist must regularly review the decision to
restrict an inpatient’s right to communicate and must cease the
restriction immediately if satisfied that it is no longer necessary.
An inpatient’s right to communicate with a legal representative, the Chief Psychiatrist, the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner, the Mental Health Tribunal, a community visitor or the Independent Mental Health Advocacy service (IMHA) cannot be restricted.
An authorised psychiatrist who restricts an inpatient’s right to
communicate must take reasonable steps to inform the inpatient, their nominated person, guardian, carer (if the restriction will directly affect the carer and the care relationship), a parent (if the inpatient is under the age of
16) and the Secretary to the Department of Health and Human Services (if the
inpatient is on a family reunification order or care by Secretary order) of the restriction and the reason for it.