Department of Health

Office of the Chief Psychiatrist's reform activities and news

What's new

New and updated information resources are available on the Chief Psychiatrist’s oversight of restrictive interventions in emergency departments and urgent care centres of designated mental health services.

This expansion of the Chief Psychiatrist’s role commences on 1 April 2024, and is part of implementing the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022, a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

It entails new compliance requirements for staff working in emergency departments and urgent care centres focussed on documenting and reporting restrictive interventions, respecting consumer rights, and ensuring restrictive interventions are only ever used as a last resort.

The new and updated resources will help staff understand these requirements and make changes to their workplace practices to meet their obligations under the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act. The resources include:

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 commenced on 1 September 2023.
It redefines the role of the Chief Psychiatrist, broadening their jurisdiction to additional settings and practices of clinical mental health.

This includes new powers and responsibilities to:

These changes were recommended by the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System. They build a governance architecture that places consumers at the centre and supports the workforce to deliver safe and high-quality treatment and care.

Compliance implications for service providers

There are important compliance implications arising from the changes.

From 1 September 2023, clinical mental health and wellbeing services will have new reporting obligations to the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist. They will also be required to adhere to an expanded set of rights-based principles emphasising supported decision-making, dignity and autonomy.

The documents listed below outline these changes. They also highlight the compliance expectations that remain unchanged in the areas of clinical practice overseen by the Chief Psychiatrist.

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Contact number: 1300 767 299

Reviewed 31 March 2024


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Office of the Chief Psychiatrist

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