Department of Health

Compulsory assessment and treatment

Regulation of compulsory assessment and mental health treatment in Victoria.

Key messages

The Act promotes voluntary treatment in preference to compulsory treatment wherever possible.

The Act seeks to minimise the use and duration of compulsory assessment and treatment to ensure that the assessment and treatment is provided in the least restrictive manner possible.

An objective of the Act is to enable a reduction in the use of compulsory assessment and treatment.

This is supported by the mental health and wellbeing principles which include requirements that mental health and wellbeing services be provided with the least possible restriction on a person’s rights, dignity and autonomy.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Act (the Act) provides the legal framework for the assessment of people who appear to have a mental illness and the treatment of those who are assessed as living with a mental illness or experiencing psychological distress.

The Act requires that voluntary assessment and treatment is preferred over compulsory approaches wherever possible.

This is supported by the objectives of the Act, the mental health and wellbeing principles, in particular the least restrictive principle, and the decision making principles for treatment and interventions.

The Act includes compulsory assessment criteria and compulsory treatment criteria that allows for the making of treatment orders that operate for a fixed duration and require timely oversight by an independent Mental Health Tribunal.

Processes are described in this chapter and illustrated in the compulsory assessment and treatment flow chart.

To receive this document in another format email

Reviewed 29 August 2023

Was this page helpful?