Treatment may include medication, talking with health professionals and undertaking activities which help with recovery from the illness. This will be written down in a Treatment and Care Plan which is a requirement under the Mental Health Act 2009 (SA) for voluntary in patients and patients under a community treatment order.
Can people be treated against their will?
Involuntary treatment can only occur when an authorised medical practitioner or psychiatrist concludes that [s 10(1), s 21(1)]: -
- the person has a mental illness; and
- because of the mental illness, the person requires treatment for their own protection from harm (including harm involved in the continuation or deterioration of the person's condition) or for the protection of others from harm;
AND in the case of community treatment orders [s 10(1)]:
- there are facilities and services available for appropriate treatment of the illness; and
- there is no less restrictive means than a community treatment order of ensuring appropriate treatment of the person's illness;
OR in the case of inpatient treatment orders [s 21(1)]:
- there is no less restrictive means than an inpatient treatment order to ensuring appropriate treatment of the person's illness.
The authorised medical practitioner or psychiatrist must also consider, amongst other things, the prospects of the person receiving all treatment of the illness necessary for the protection of the person and others on a voluntary basis or (in considering inpatient treatment orders) on a community treatment order [s 10(2), s 21(2)].
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