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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 to be in the interests of the patient by an independent psychiatrist (who is not their 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 in the next section.

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Mental health

Where to go for more support

Community Law

Your local Community Law Centre can provide you with free initial legal advice.

Find your local Community Law Centre online: www.communitylaw.org.nz/our-law-centres

Te Hiringa Mahara/Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission

The objective of Te Hiringa Mahara is to contribute to better and equitable mental health and wellbeing outcomes for people in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Website: www.mhwc.govt.nz

Health and Disability Commissioner

The Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) website sets out your rights under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights and how you can make a complaint to the Commissioner.

Website: www.hdc.org.nz
Email: hdc@hdc.org.nz
Phone: 0800 11 22 33

To make a complaint online: www.hdc.org.nz/making-a-complaint/make-a-complaint-to-hdc

Mental Health Support

Publicly funded health and disability support services available in New Zealand:

Mental health district inspectors

District Inspectors are lawyers appointed by the Minister of Health to protect the rights of people receiving treatment under the Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, or the Intellectual Disability (Compulsory Care and Rehabilitation) Act 2003.

Website: www.health.govt.nz/our-work/mental-health-and-addiction/mental-health-legislation/mental-health-compulsory-assessment-and-treatment-act-1992/mental-health-district-inspectors

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