Annual Conference

TheMHS 2014 S022: Magna Charter – Western Australia’s Mental Health Bill 2013

By August 27, 2014 No Comments

This presentation looked at the purpose of the Charter of Mental Health Care Principles to inform mental health services, when providing treatment, care and support to people experiencing mental illness. The principles are summarised as:

Principle 1 – Attitude towards people experiencing mental illness

Principle 2 – Human rights

Principle 3 – Person-centered approach

Principle 4 – Delivery of treatment, care and support

Principle 5 – Choice and self-determination

Principle 6 – Diversity

Principle 7 – People of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent

Principle 8 – Co-occurring needs

Principle 9 – Factors influencing mental health and wellbeing

Principle 10 – Privacy and confidentiality

Principle 11 – Responsibilities and dependents

Principle 12 – Provision of informational about mental illness and treatment

Principle 13 – Provision of information about rights

Principle 14 – Involvement of other people

Principle 15 – Accountability and improvement

The Charter evolved from growing consumer, family and carer concerns regarding the treatment and care of people experiencing mental health issues, compliance with rights and protections, and a need for national consistency. The development of the rights and responsibilities were compiled as a result of a consultation forum, where 24 consumers attended. Themes were identified to represent the suggestions and ideas put forward which resulted in the 15 principles now in parliament. 

The rights based set of principles are located within the Mental Health Bill, are intended to influence the interconnected factors that facilitate recovery, and set the responsibility for mental health services to have regard for, and comply to the charter. Embedded in recovery principles, the charter aims to reframe the values that inform mental health services, policy and procedures with the inclusion of; and involvement and consultation with families, consumers and carers. It is in this way the charter also hopes to facilitate and contribute to cultural change across the board.

The Charter promotes change, and recognises the difficulties this can bring for people, along with the time it can take. Here, the Chief psychiatrist is accountable for ensuring compliance, with complaints being investigated through the Health and Disability Services Office. In addition, reporting on quality assurance and complaints will take place, with the Mental Health Advocacy Service ensuring to provide a voice for consumers.

You can access the Mental Health Bill 2013 (WA) here.