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.