What is a declared mental health facility?
Under the Mental Health Act 2007 a person assessed as mentally ill or mentally disordered may be issued with a Schedule 1 certificate and taken against their will for further assessment to a declared mental health facility.
The detention of a person in a non-declared mental health facility for the purposes of a mental health assessment is illegal.
How does a facility become a declared mental health facility?
The Mental Health Act 2007 allows the Secretary of the NSW Ministry of Health, by order published in the NSW Government Gazette, to declare any facility to be a declared mental health facility.
Are there different types of declared mental health facility?
Under the Mental Health Act 2007 the Secretary can designate classes of declared mental health facility, and the purposes for which they can be used. Currently there are three classes of declared mental health facility:
- Mental Health Emergency Assessment Class - this class provides for the short-term detention of persons for initial assessment, immediate care and to arrange transport to an inpatient unit. All declared emergency departments fall into this class.
- Mental Health Assessment and Inpatient Treatment Class – this class allows for the full range of inpatient functions to be conducted. All declared mental health inpatient units and Psychiatric Emergency Care Centres fall into this class.
- Community or Health Care Agency Class – this class provides for the administering of community treatment orders.
Who can detain someone in a declared mental health facility?
The Mental Health Act 2007 allows a range of authorised persons, including police officers, ambulance officers, clinicians and accredited persons to detain a person they suspect of having a mental illness or mental disorder in a declared mental health facility for the purpose of receiving a mental health assessment.
For a current listing of declared mental health facilities please email: MOH-MentalHealthBranch@health.nsw.gov.au indicating which of the three classes of listings you require – Emergency, Inpatient or Community.