Department of Health

What’s changed with compulsory treatment?

    Under the new Act, compulsory assessment criteria and compulsory treatment criteria are unchanged.

    However, the Act introduces new rights-based decision making principles – and these principles apply to decisions made about compulsory assessment and treatment.

    Decision makers must give proper consideration to these principles when exercising a power or making a decision in relation to a patient’s assessment, treatment and care

    The new Act promotes voluntary treatment in preference to compulsory treatment wherever possible, and requires that mental health and wellbeing services are provided with the least possible restriction of people’s rights, dignity and autonomy.

    An important change is the Act reduces the maximum duration of community treatment orders from 12 months to 6 months.

    And the provisions regarding the Mental Health Tribunal are comparable to those of the Mental Health Act 2014 with some minor changes.

    You can find more information in the Act handbook on the health.vic website.

    Reviewed 13 August 2023