NSW Mental Health Act

Review of the NSW Mental Health Act 2007: Report for NSW Parliament

There are several laws that are of particular interest to people with mental illness in NSW.

Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW) deals with the care and treatment of persons with severe mental illness in NSW:

  • it establishes the system of public mental health care and provides for the licensing of private mental health facilities in NSW
  • it sets out the circumstances in which persons with mental illness may be admitted to and treated in public hospital based mental health facilities on either a voluntary or involuntary basis
  • it sets out the circumstances in which a person with a mental health disorder may be subject to compulsory treatment provided by a public mental health facility in the community
  • it regulates some specific forms of mental health treatment, such as Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • it establishes the Mental Health Review Tribunal, which authorises and reviews the compulsory treatmentof persons with mental illness and mental health disorders in hospital and the community
  • it establishes the appointment of a person to be the Principal Official Visitor, who can advise and assist official visitors in the exercise of their functions under this Act; to act as an advocate to the Minister for consumers of mental health care and report on any significant public mental health issues, patient safety, care or treatment issues to the Minister or any other appropriate person or body.

In response to the Review of the Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW) a summary of consultation feedback and advice was published in May 2013. This required that the Minister review the Act “to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and whether the terms of the Act remain appropriate for securing those objectives.” The amendments to the Act were assented on the 28 November 2014 by way of the Mental Health Amendment (Statutory Review) Act 2014.

The Act was proclaimed on 31 August 2015 and amendments are now in force. The amended Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW) Act can be accessed here.

An Information Bulletin from NSW Health detailing all the amendments to the Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW) is available from this link.

Mental Health Rights Manual

For more information about NSW state laws and guidelines please vist MHCC’s  MENTAL HEALTH RIGHTS MANUAL: An online guide to the legal and human rights of people navigating the mental health and human service systems in NSW (4th Edition) 2015.

Chapter 2 of the Manual outlines the legislation of particular interest to people with mental illness and disability in NSW.

Access the Mental Health Rights Manual

For further information concerning this review please contact Corinne Henderson, Senior Policy Officer at