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MEDIA RELEASE: Mental Health Rights Manual released

Launch of newly updated resource to help explain rights within the mental health system

Mental Health Coordinating Council has today launched an extensive update of a much-valued resource, the Mental Health Rights Manual.

Mental Health Rights Manual is an online guide developed by MHCC to help people better understand their legal and human rights when navigating the complex mental health system in New South Wales.

The Manual is designed for people living with mental health concerns, their carers, support people and practitioners. It aims to assist people to understand their rights and advocate on behalf of themselves or others by explaining complex issues and processes in easy-to-read language.

“People can experience considerable distress when they interact with the mental health service system for many reasons, but frequently because they are being involuntarily treated or they can’t access the services they feel they need, when and where they need them,” MHCC Principal Policy Advisor Corinne Henderson explains.

“They may feel they aren’t being heard or that their perspectives are dismissed. The Manual sets out to be a readily accessible resource that explains complicated matters in plain English, without medical jargon or legalise.”

MHCC CEO Carmel Tebbutt says the need for such a resource is even more pressing with the impact on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today marks the launch of the 5th edition of the Manual. The original concept for the guide dates back to 1995 when a printed resource was launched in partnership with the Redfern Legal Service.

At the time, and ongoing, MHCC sees a need for consumers and their supporters to have access to broad based information covering a range of issues about mental health, related services and the law all in one place.

In the nearly 30 years since first developed, the Manual has grown in size and gone online, but remains an up-to-date source for information and links to further assistance.

We are proud to announce the 5th edition of the Mental Health Rights Manual and thank the NSW Mental Health Commission for supporting this latest, extensive upgrade.

  • Information available in the Manual includes
  •  How mental health legislation applies to people.
  •  Where to raise concerns about services.
  •  What assistance someone might be eligible for under the NDIS.

View the Mental Health Rights Manual here. Read a Q&A with Corinne Henderson here.

For any enquiries, please contact Lara Cole, Communications and Advocacy Manager lara.c@mhcc.org.au | 0412 202 643