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Health & disability

The compulsory assessment process

Step 3: Following the assessment examination

What happens after the assessment examination?

Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, s 10

After the assessment examination, the health professional making the assessment must provide a certificate saying whether or not there are reasonable grounds to believe that you have a mental disorder – this is called the “certificate of preliminary assessment”. If they do think there are reasonable grounds, then you – now referred to as a “patient” – will be required to receive treatment for up to five days (see: “Step 4: The first period of assessment and treatment”).

You will be given a copy of the certificate of preliminary assessment and a notice explaining this. A copy of the certificate and the notice must also be sent to:

  • the person who applied for you to be assessed
  • your principal caregiver (if you have one)
  • your GP
  • your welfare guardian (if you have one).

If the health professional doing the assessment doesn’t think that you have a mental disorder, you don’t have to have any further assessment or treatment.

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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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