6. Implementation of the Mental Health Act 2013

The Chief Psychiatrist has an ongoing commitment to training, and training packages are constantly being revised and updated in order to ensure that patients are provided with clinical care that is of a high standard and fully recognises and adheres to the principles of human rights, least restrictive care and recovery for all. The 2014-15 year has seen the continuation of training for a wide variety of mental health service providers, with particular emphasis on the training of front-line clinical staff. As is to be expected with any new and ground-breaking piece of legislation, there have been some challenges implementing various operational aspects of the Act. These have generally been of a minor nature and have been substantially overcome with revision of relevant forms, additional training and open, transparent discussion of systemic issues as they arise.  The co-operation of all clinicians, Tasmania Police, Ambulance Tasmania, the Mental Health Tribunal, Mental Health Official Visitors, community sector organisations and all stakeholder groups has been invaluable in this regard.

Ongoing work to streamline various aspects of the Act, particularly with respect to decision making capacity, time lines, hearings and resourcing, both in terms of administrative and clinical support continue to be discussed and possible solutions developed. Consultations and discussions involving the Chief Psychiatrist, the Mental Health Tribunal, clinicians and key stakeholders aimed at finding and maintaining the balance between ensuring procedural fairness, while at the same time giving adequate clinical time to meet the needs of patients is a continuous process.