Communtity Law Manual | Mental health | Compulsory treatment orders

Compulsory treatment orders

Overview of compulsory treatment orders

What is a compulsory treatment order?

Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, ss 14, 59, 62

A compulsory treatment order is a court order stating that a person who is assessed as having a mental disorder will have to receive treatment for up to six months. For the first month, the patient must accept treatment. From the second month onwards, the patient is not required to accept treatment unless:

  • they give informed consent, or
  • treatment is considered in the interests of the patient by an independent psychiatrist (not being the responsible clinician), or
  • the patient needs emergency treatment and it is not possible to get their consent.

Note: Treatment does not just include medication. It can also cover rehabilitation programmes, education programmes, counselling and discussion groups. But these must be related to the mental disorder.

How can I be placed under a compulsory treatment order?

Applying for a compulsory treatment order is a very serious step. There is a strict legal process that must be followed. This process is explained below.

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