Department of Health

Victoria's cross-border ministerial agreements are out of date because they were signed before the commencement of Victoria's Mental Health Act 2014 and so refer to provisions of the repealed 1986 Mental Health Act.

Work is being undertaken to update the agreements but in the meantime, mental health services with cross-border cases or questions should contact the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist at or on (03) 9096 7571 for specific advice.

Victorian mental health services sometimes have to work across catchment boundaries within Victoria as well as across state boundaries with interstate mental health services, to provide appropriate care to people with a mental illness.

Out of area

Victorians who seek help from a mental health service outside their catchment area have a right to immediate assessment of their needs. This means that mental health services will need to work with the person's area of origin to determine funding and continuity of care arrangements. See out of area care below.

Out of Victoria

The interstate assessment, transfer, treatment and apprehension of compulsory patients is governed by Part 13 of the Mental Health Act 2014 and cross-border ministerial agreements between Victoria and other states.

Victoria has civil cross-border ministerial agreements with the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia (SA). The contents of these agreements vary but include interstate assessment, planned interstate transfers and the interstate apprehension and return of compulsory patients who are absent without leave in another state.

Victoria also has forensic cross-border ministerial agreements with the ACT and NSW. The forensic cross-border agreements cover the interstate apprehension and return of forensic and certain other patients who abscond interstate.

These agreements continue to operate however as stated above, they are now out of date. Mental health services seeking cross-border advice should contact the Chief Psychiatrist.

The civil and forensic cross-border ministerial agreements with Queensland lapsed in 2018.

Copies of the out of date cross-border ministerial agreements and forms can be viewed on the relevant state tabs.

Reviewed 26 November 2021


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