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The role of family/whānau in compulsory assessment and treatment


Consultation with family and whānau

Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, ss 7A, 9

Your responsible clinician must consult with your family or whānau during the compulsory assessment and treatment process, unless:

  • this is not reasonably practical
  • this is not in your best interests.

Where an application for assessment is made, the purpose of the assessment needs to be explained to you (the proposed patient) in the presence of a family member, caregiver or other person concerned with your welfare.

What if I don’t want my family/whānau to be consulted?

Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992, s 7A

A responsible clinician must consult with you as the patient before consulting with your family and whānau. You may not want your family or whānau to be consulted, but the responsible clinician can still consult with your family or whānau if they believe this would be in your best interests.

Note: Family or whānau is not limited to blood relationships. It could include friends, loved ones, people in your support network or other people who are an important part of your life.

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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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