Key messages

  • Statements of rights set out a person’s rights while being assessed or while receiving treatment under the Mental Health Act 2014
  • The relevant statement of rights must be given to a person at key points during their assessment and treatment.
  • A person must also be given an oral explanation of their rights and must answer any questions the person has.
  • Reasonable attempts must be made to provide the information or explanation at a time when the person can understand it.

Statements of rights are documents that set out a person’s rights under the Mental Health Act 2014 while being assessed or receiving treatment for mental illness and the process by which the person will be assessed or receive treatment.

Statements of rights

A statement of rights must be provided to a person at key points during their assessment and treatment.

Statements of rights set out a person’s rights when receiving mental health services from a mental health service provider.

A statement of rights includes information about patients’ right to:

An authorised psychiatrist or psychiatrist must ensure that a person is also given an oral explanation of their rights under the Act and answer any questions the person may have as clearly and completely as possible.

If a person is unable to understand the information contained in the statement of rights or the oral explanation when it is provided, reasonable attempts must be made to provide the information or explanation at a time when the person is able to understand the information or explanation.

People must be given a statement of rights when an Assessment Order, Court Assessment Order, Temporary Treatment Order or Treatment Order is made or varied.

A number of other people must also be given a copy of the statement of rights. This includes a nominated person, a guardian, a carer if the decision will affect the carer and the care relationship, a parent of a person aged under 16 or the Secretary to the Department of Human Services if the person is the subject of a custody to Secretary order or a guardianship to Secretary order.

A person must also receive the relevant statement of rights when providing informed consent to treatment including electroconvulsive treatment and neurosurgery for mental illness.

Twelve statement of rights have been developed and are available as downloads.