Victorian mental health services sometimes have to work across catchment boundaries within Victoria as well as across state boundaries with interstate mental health services, to provide prompt and appropriate care to people with a mental illness.

Victorians who seek help from a mental health service outside their catchment area have a right to immediate assessment of their needs. This means that mental health services will need to work with the person’s area of origin to determine funding and continuity of care arrangements. See out of area care below.

The interstate treatment, transfer and apprehension of compulsory patients is governed by Part 13 of the Mental Health Act 2014 and cross border ministerial agreements. Currently Victoria has agreements with the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales (NSW), Queensland and South Australia (SA).

Victoria also has three forensic agreements with the ACT, NSW and Queensland for the apprehension and return of forensic and security patients.