What is the Mental Health Act?
The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 is the law that is used when someone is mentally unwell and is believed to need treatment but does not agree to that treatment. The Act covers that person’s rights, how they are assessed and how they receive compulsory treatment.
Currently, people can be placed under the Act if they do not consent to treatment but experience mental health symptoms that a mental health clinician deems serious enough to cause the person to pose a risk to themselves or others. A mental health clinician and a Director of Mental Health Area Services (DAMHS) initially decide whether someone should be placed under the Act, and if they are, whether that person will receive compulsory mental health treatment in a mental health facility, or in the community until the Act is lifted.
You can find out more about how the Act works, including what compulsory treatment means, here.