Your rights

Generally, consumers of mental health and addiction services have the same rights under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights as any other consumer of health and disability services.

The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 and the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act 1966 (to be repealed and replaced by the Substance Addiction (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 2017 in February 2018) set out circumstances where the right to consent to treatment can be overridden. Although these Acts override the right to decline treatment under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers' Rights (Right 7(1)), the other rights under the Code still apply.

If you have concerns about a mental health or addiction service, or wish to make a complaint, you can find information here or you may prefer to speak to a health and disability advocate.

Advance directives

An advance directive could be a good way for you to gain more control over the treatment and care you are given in a crisis situation. An advance directive is a statement signed by a person setting out in advance the treatment he/she does or does not want if he/she becomes unwell in the future and is considered unable to give consent.

Last reviewed October 2021