Department of Health

Oversight of chemical restraint

The Chief Psychiatrist will begin overseeing the use of chemical restraint from 1 September 2023.

From 1 September 2023 the Chief Psychiatrist will oversee the use of chemical restraint.

This is the first time that chemical restraint is being regulated in Victoria’s mental health and wellbeing system.

Chemical restraint is defined as a restrictive intervention in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022.

It refers to the administration of a drug to a person for the primary purpose of controlling the person's behaviour by restricting their freedom of movement. Chemical restraint does not include the giving of a drug to a person for the purpose of treatment or medical treatment.
The use of chemical restraint by mental health and wellbeing services must be reported to the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist.

This reporting requirement will be implemented in stages, beginning with inpatient settings in designated mental health and wellbeing services on 1 September 2023.

In the subsequent period, the reporting requirement will be extended to all other settings where the new Act applies.

Further information on these changes and how to report chemical restraint is available in the the Chief Psychiatrist’s Guideline on Restrictive Interventions.

Reviewed 15 September 2023


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Office of the Chief Psychiatrist

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