People with a mental illness have a right to privacy, and in most cases their health information must not be disclosed without their consent.
In certain circumstances health information can be disclosed if this is necessary for the person to receive effective treatment and care.
Rights and privacy principles
Quick guide to rights and privacy principles from the Health Records Act 2001 and the Information Privacy Act 2000.
Notifying police about people unfit to carry firearms
Sometimes public mental health services can disclose information to police, if they think a person is unfit to carry firearms.
Access to mental health records
A person has the right to access their health information, including mental health records. Records held by public sector mental health organisations are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
Reviewed 28 May 2015