Services and Support

Involuntary Treatment Orders

We help people under the Mental Health Act who are being treated for a mental illness without their consent.

Providing advice and representation for people with a mental illness who are treated as involuntary patients in hospital or the community is a priority for the Mental Health Law Centre.

We provide expert support for all matters under the Mental Health Act 2014.

An involuntary patient is a person who is being treated without their agreement, known as ‘consent’. This type of order can only be made if a psychiatrist is concerned about their personal safety or their risk to others.


Can we help you?

We can help you if you are being treated under a:

  • Inpatient Treatment Order: where patients are detained and treated in hospital.
  • Community Treatment Order: where patients are treated in the community.
How do we help?

Our lawyers can represent you at your tribunal hearing:

  • If you are in Perth, we will travel and represent you in-person before the tribunal.
  • If you are in a regional or remote area, we will appear via video link before the tribunal.

We can also help with other matters related to the Mental Health Act 2014, such as making a complaint, accessing medical records, or defending patient rights.

What legal issues can we help with?

Most clients come to us because they have a hearing before the Mental Health Tribunal (MHT).

The MHT is the authority that decides whether an involuntary treatment order should be continued, changed or cancelled.

  • When an order is first put in place, it must be reviewed by the MHT within 35 days for adults or 10 days if the patient is a child.
  • If the MHT decides the treatment order should continue, the order must be reviewed every three months for adults, and every 28 days for children.

The MHT is made up of an independent panel with a psychiatrist, lawyer and community representative who review each case and make a recommendation to the treatment team, or make an order amending, maintaining or cancelling the involuntary treatment order. If you disagree with the MHT’s decisions, you can appeal to the State Administrative Tribunal and ultimately the Supreme Court.

The MHLC can provide representation at Mental Health Tribunal hearings in relation to:

  • Involuntary treatment orders;
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT);
  • Restrictions on communication;
  • Access to patient rights.
How much time do we need?

We need three working days’ notice for all Mental Health Tribunal matters.

Resources & Education

What are Involuntary Treatment Orders?

What are Mental Health Tribunal Hearings?

Treatment Options for Mental Illness

There are a number of treatments available in WA for patients with mental illness. This brochure provides an overview of the psychiatric treatments provided by recognised mental health services in WA.

Involuntary Patient Orders

An involuntary patient is a person who is ordered by a psychiatrist to accept mental health treatment without their consent.

Community Treatment Orders

An involuntary patient may be placed on a Community Treatment Order to live in the community and receive treatment.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

This brochure is designed to provide a basic understanding of the legal rules around the use of ECT in Western Australia.

Other Services

Law Proceedings
Care & Protection
Guardianship &
Administration Orders
Family & Domestic