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Mind the Act, Victoria Legal Aid

Australia-first case defends the rights of people ordered into involuntary psychiatric treatment

We have launched Supreme Court action to protect the rights of thousands of people who are each year ordered into involuntary psychiatric treatment, when the serious step is taken to detain or treat them against their will.

In the first legal action of its kind in Australia, Victoria Legal Aid is asking the Supreme Court to consider the case of a woman who was re-admitted to a Melbourne hospital for involuntary psychiatric treatment only hours after being discharged by the Mental Health Review Board.

Read more about this groundbreaking legal action.

VCAT's decision about electroconvulsive treatment

In August, we reported on the first matter about electroconvulsive treatment to be heard by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT). The tribunal has now made its decision and found that our client:

  • did not have capacity to give informed consent
  • could not be treated in a less restrictive way.

VCAT therefore made an order for compulsory electroconvulsive treatment, but reduced the number of treatments permitted under the order from 12 to 8.

Read more about VCAT's decision and some issues that will require further clarification in the future.

Dominic Troughton, Hannah Meurer and Bill Moon from the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council

Getting to know ...

We will be regularly featuring the stories of people we work with, who have integral roles in bringing about the ideals of the new Mental Health Act 2014.

In this edition, we spoke to consumer advocates Bill Moon, Hannah Meurer and Dominic Troughton about their work at the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council.

Mental Health Week

This Mental Health Week 5–11 October we restate our commitment to ensuring that people with mental health issues are afforded fair and humane treatment by:

  • providing timely legal information and representation
  • protecting their rights to participate in decisions that affect them. 

Read more about how we help people with a mental illness.

What we've been reading ...

A selection of news articles and resources we've found interesting in the last month:

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Victoria Legal Aid · 350 Queen Street · Melbourne, Vic 3000 · Australia