Department of Health

Reducing restrictive interventions

The Victorian Government is committed to reducing restrictive practices in mental health services, and providing treatment and care that is safe for consumers and the people who support and work with them.

Restrictive Interventions in Victorian Emergency Departments: a review of current clinical practice

Evaluation report summarises the Emergency department presentations in five hospitals over 2016, the Code Greys that occurred in those departments and the restrictive interventions used on patients. The Alfred, Ballarat, Dandenong, Geelong and Royal Melbourne hospitals were chosen to represent the Emergency department management of highly agitated patients and the interventions required.

Restrictive Interventions in Victorian Emergency Departments

Use of Restrictive practices on males released from prison and entering acute mental health services

Report of research that sought to understand the use of restrictive interventions for male consumers admitted to inpatient mental health settings who have recently experienced a period of imprisonment. The research also reviewed the pathway of males - prior, during and following imprisonment and determine the impact of recent imprisonment on the subsequent use of restrictive interventions on admission to acute mental health inpatient units.

Use of Restrictive practices on males released from prison and entering acute mental health services

Forensic Mental Health Restrictive Intervention Benchmark Project

Report on a research project to develop suitable restrictive intervention benchmarks, based on a consensus from a group of experts within the field that will assist services to reduce the use of restrictive interventions across Forensic Mental Health Services in the states and territories of Australia and in the five regional FMHS in New Zealand. This study will assist Victoria to lead the way in establishing performance goals for forensic services to improve service performance and quality, and effect practice change.

Forensic Mental Health Restrictive Intervention Benchmark Project

Victoria's framework for reducing restrictive interventions

Providing a safe environment for all: framework for reducing restrictive interventions helps health services to comply with mental health reform objectives and the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006. The framework guides services to develop local responses to reduce the use of restrictive interventions through a culture of safety and recovery.

Framework for reducing restrictive interventions

Reducing restrictive interventions: literature review and document analysis (2013)

More resources

Restrictive interventions in designated mental health services - Chief Psychiatrist guideline

Practice of prone restraint: Chief Psychiatrist clinical practice advisory notice

Reducing restrictive interventions initiative

This statewide initiative supports mental health services to work towards reducing and, where possible, eliminating the use of restrictive practices. Every mental health service across Victoria has participated in developing local action plans (LAPs) for reducing incidences of restrictive interventions. LAPs employ a range of strategies, including workforce development, enhanced consumer and carer participation, strengthened clinical governance, innovative therapeutic interventions and sensory modulation. 


Safewards is a highly effective model in reducing conflict and containment, and increasing a sense of safety and mutual support for staff and patients. The Chief Mental Health Nurse has established a Safewards team to help public mental health units across Victoria to implement Safewards.

Find out more about Safewards

Creating Safety online training

A comprehensive training program Creating Safety has been developed to help Victoria’s mental health services reduce, and where possible eliminate, the use of restraint and seclusion practices in adult acute inpatient units.

Reviewed 15 March 2019


Contact details

Anna Love is Victoria's Chief Mental Health Nurse.

Chief Mental Health Nurse Department of Health and Human Services

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