S13: My Rights, My Decisions

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By September 5, 2019 No Comments

Authors: Jennifer Adams, Terri Warner

Year: 2019

Event: 2019 TheMHS Conference

Subject: My Rights, My Decisions

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers



Terri is a mental health educator and advocate who uses lived experience to bring about positive changes in health services. She is currently completing her Masters thesis examining the paradoxical nature of psychosocial disability as constructed by the NDIS. She is the Chair of the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network.

This presentation describes the achievements of and lessons from the My Rights, My Decisions program, run from late-2017 by the ACT Mental Health Consumer Network, with senior support from Canberra Health Services.

My Rights, My Decisions redesigned three inaccessible clinical forms for mental health consumers to be consumer-friendly, freely available and supported by training. This involved co-design with consumers, carers and the community sector as well as public health, legal and human rights representatives. Consumers can now more easily express their views on treatment, care and support while they have decision-making capacity, in consultation with their treating team. These views can then be followed should the consumer have reduced decision-making capacity in the future. This gives life to the rights of consumers as outlined in the Mental Health Act 2015 (ACT).

My Rights, My Decisions is facilitated by one part-time peer educator, who will present this session, including tips for those wishing to conduct similar programs elsewhere.

My Rights, My Decisions won the Canberra Health Services Quality in Healthcare Awards 2018 – Person-centred category. It promotes resilience in consumers by providing a strong vehicle for self-directed treatment and actions at times of acute mental illness.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objective 1: Participants will understand the co-design and education processes taken to inform and develop My Rights, My Decisions, to transform the legislation about Nominated Person, Advance Agreement and Advance Consent Direction into a consumer-led reality.

Learning Objective 2: Participants will take away useful tips based on the experience of My Rights, My Decisions, which may be applied to similar programs elsewhere.


Mental Health Act 2015 (ACT). 1 March 2016. https://www.legislation.act.gov.au/DownloadFile/a/2015-38/current/PDF/2015-38.PDF

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