Communications and advocacy update: 15 June
15 June 2023
Here’s an update on a few of the issues AMA Victoria is working on for members, including:
- Independent Review of Victoria’s Compulsory Treatment Criteria and Decision-making Laws
- Victoria’s strategy towards elimination of seclusion and restraint- public consultation open.
Independent Review of Victoria’s Compulsory Treatment Criteria and Decision-making Laws
AMA Victoria has provided a submission to the Independent Review of Victoria’s Compulsory Treatment Criteria and Decision-making Laws.
Beginning by noting that “AMA Victoria has had a longstanding active involvement in the development of Victorian Mental Health Acts, and also close involvement during various stages of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and now its implementation”, the Submission stated that AMA Victoria has “an ongoing interest in participating with the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act process”.
The submission, in providing context for some of the difficult issues encompassed by the Independent Review, also emphasised the need to address comorbid conditions and social determinants to poor mental health, and stressed the need for early intervention. The submission also advocated for trauma-informed, recovery-based care, shared decision-making, multidisciplinary teams, staff training, and the importance of resourcing for effective implementation.
In terms of the substance of the submission, we:
- Re-iterated that compulsory assessment and treatment is- and will remain- very important for a very small percentage of the population at key points of their lives during episodes of significant and devastating mental illness, and in these cases is used to facilitate rapid access to effective treatment;
- Supported the continuation of the current criteria for compulsory assessment and treatment; and
- Stated that the status quo should prevail regarding the process for signing off on assessment orders, temporary treatment orders, and treatment orders (mental health clinicians/medical practitioners, psychiatrists, and external tribunals, respectively).
The full submission can be accessed here.
Victoria’s strategy towards elimination of seclusion and restraint - public consultation open
Public consultation has opened into Victoria’s strategy towards elimination of seclusion and restraint.
The strategy will consider restrictive interventions regulated by the Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 (seclusion, physical restraint, mechanical restraint, and chemical restraint), as well as other restrictions on a person’s free access to all parts of their environment (commonly referred to as environmental restraint) or situations where patients feel they are constrained by aspects of their experiences of treatment, care, and support from expressing themselves or their views openly and honestly (commonly referred to as psychological restraint).
The strategy will consider the use of restrictive interventions across a range of mental health service delivery settings (including emergency departments and transport), not just mental health inpatient units. However, the use of restrictive interventions in settings not regulated under Victorian mental health legislation will be out of scope.
If you would like to contribute to AMA Victoria’s submission in response to the strategy, please contact Lewis Horton at LewisH@amavic.com.au.