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Mental Health Act 2007

The Mental Health Act 2007 came into effect on 16 November 2007, when the Mental Health Act 1990 ceased to have effect. The objects of the 2007 Act are to make provisions with respect to the care, treatment and control of mentally ill persons and mentally disordered persons and other matters relating to mental health. The new Act resulted from a review of the legislation initiated by the NSW Government and involved extensive consultations with consumers, carers and service providers. It retains many of the significant principles of the Mental Health Act 1990, builds on patient and carer rights and protections; and provides for modern models of service provision.

Amendments to the Mental Health Act 2007

The Mental Health Act 2007 (the Act) was amended on 31 August 2015 following a major review of the legislation. Extensive consultations with the community and key stakeholders were conducted over a period of 18 months, and draft amendments were tested through an Expert Reference Group.  Significant amendments to the Mental Health Act were passed by the NSW Parliament on 18 November 2014 and commenced on 31 August 2015.

For more information see Amendments to the Mental Health Act 2007.

Declared Mental Health Facilities

Under the Mental Health Act 2007, a person can be involuntarily detained and treated if they are found to be mentally ill or mentally disordered following a mental health assessment. Where a person needs to be taken from the community to a facility for an assessment against their will, the Mental Health Act 2007 requires that they be taken 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 or involuntary treatment is illegal. See Declared mental health facilities for more information, includingthe processes surrounding involuntary detention. 

Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990

The Mental Health Legislation Amendment (Forensic Provisions) Act 2008 renamed and amended the Mental Health (Criminal Procedure) Act 1990 as the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990. It also amended the Mental Health Act 2007.

patients and patients transferred from correctional centres. The main change to the Act in 2008 was the transfer to the Mental Health Review Tribunal (the Tribunal) of decision-making responsibility over forensic patients. The Tribunal is able to make orders for the detention, care and treatment of forensic patients, including orders for release.

For more information see:

Guardianship Act 1987

The Guardianship Act 1987 was created to protect the legal rights of people over the age of 16 years, who have a disability which affects their capacity to make decisions. The Guardianship Act is the governing legislation for the appointment of guardians and for guardianship practice in NSW. In 1989, the Guardianship Act created the NSW Guardianship Tribunal and the Office of the Public Guardian.

In 1998, the Act was amended to allow for the appointment of enduring guardians. In 2004, the Act was again amended to enable the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal to hear appeals against decisions made by the Guardianship Tribunal and to review decisions of the Office of the Public Guardian. For more information see the Attorney General's Department.

NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010

The NSW Carers (Recognition) Act 2010 formally recognises the important contribution carers make to the people they care for. It also places obligations on all NSW public sector agencies in relation to carers. The Act contains the NSW Carers Charter, which provides thirteen principles to guide interactions with carers. 

More information regarding the Ministry of Health’s implementation can be found on Support for Carers in NSW.

The NSW Carers Charter provides 13 principles to guide interactions with carers. The Charter is at Schedule 1 of the Act.​​​​

Current as at: Wednesday 21 August 2019
Contact page owner: Mental Health Branch