Authors: Denise Darnell, Annette Lindsay and Brian Hughes, QLD
Event: 2006 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Human Rights & Laws, HUMAN RIGHTS AND ETHICS,LEGAL ISSUES,RESEARCH, EVALUATION, QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Since its establishment in 2002, the Mental Health Review Tribunal has been concerned by the number of consumers not attending their hearings to participate in decisions about their future. The tribunal protects the rights of people receiving involuntary treatment under the Mental Health Act 2000 (Qld) and their access to justice. To increase attendance at hearings, the Tribunal has engaged with consumers, and considers consumer attitudes in order to reduce barriers to consumer participation. The tribunal’s commitment to meaningful participation by consumers has led it to appoint a consumer consultant to facilitate an augmented level of interaction with consumers. The quality of the interaction is as important as the outcome in determining how the consumer feels about the experience of participating in a Tribunal hearing. Empowering patients to actively participate in their own hearings is important in view of the fact that autonomy has been shown to be one of the principles of recovery. This paper addresses the way the Tribunal is meeting the challenge of encouraging consumers to take the fullest role through optimising their participation in decisions about their lives and also ensuring consumer feedback and evaluation results in their views and wishes being incorporated into Tribunal philosophy and practices.