Schedule 1 of the Mental Health Act 2009 (SA) spells out what is not mental illness because of any or more of the following:
- political opinion or belief;
- religious opinion or belief;
- sexual preference or sexual orientation;
- political activity, religious activity, sexual activity or sexual promiscuity;
- immoral conduct;
- developmental disability of mind;
- taking alcohol or any other drug;
- anti-social behaviour;
- economic or social status; or
- membership of a particular cultural or racial group.
However if a person who takes or has taken alcohol or any other drug whcih results in serious or permanent physiological, biochemical or psychological effect then alcohol or drug taking can be regarded as an indication that the person is suffering from a mental illness.
Where there is uncertainty as to whether a particular condition is a mental illness, contact a doctor or a Community Mental Health Service. In an emergency contact the Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service (ACIS). Their contact number is 13 14 65.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.