As well as the general intentions of the Act and appeal rights, the following important rights are covered:
Note that voluntary patients retain the right to decide what involvement carers, relatives or friends have in their treatment and care; and the right to ask for the support of another person in interviews with mental health professionals. (This could be a guardian, medical agent, carer, relative, friend, and a representative of the Public Advocate or another advocate.)
What involvement can carers, relatives and friends have?
The Act recognises the importance of carers, relatives and friends as participants in the treatment, care and recovery of individuals with mental health problems.
What is SACAT and what does it do?
The South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal is a legal tribunal which makes Detention and Treatment Orders and Community Treatment Orders. It hears appeals about orders made by mental health professionals. It also makes and reviews level 3 Detention and Treatment Orders and level 2 Community Treatment Orders. At a hearing, SACAT can confirm, vary or revoke an order, make an alternative order or direct that a Treatment and Care Plan be reviewed. SACAT has other monitoring and decision making responsibilities regarding prescribed treatment and the interstate transfer of involuntary patients.
What are Community Visitors?
The Act provides for the appointment of a Principal Community Visitor and the establishment of a scheme where appointed Community Visitors will regularly visit and inspect treatment centres and meet individuals who are receiving treatment [ss 50-52]. Patients and their families can ask to speak with a Community Visitor.
Who can transport a person for assessment or treatment?
The following categories of people have particular authority under the Act to transport persons who are believed to have a mental illness or are the subject of certain orders.
What happens if a person goes interstate?
The Act allows individuals who move between states and are subject to either a community treatment order or an involuntary inpatient order to have their treatment pursued in another state/territory involuntarily if necessary. This can only be done if there is a Ministerial agreement with the other state/territory. Decisions can also be made to transport people who are subject to detention orders in a particular state back to that state [s 70] and for people subject to interstate community treatment orders to undergo treatment in South Australia [see sections 68-69].
Where a person is transported and detained for treatment under these circumstances they must be given a statement of rights as soon as practicable. A guardian, medical agent, relative, carer or friend of the person must also be notified that the person is being treated for their mental illness in South Australia or has been transported interstate for treatment [s 70].