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The Chief Psychiatrist

Under the Mental Health Act 2016, the Chief Psychiatrist’s functions are to protect the rights of patients in authorised mental health facilities and make policies and practice guidelines for staff working in these facilities. The Chief Psychiatrist also has the power to investigate matters where appropriate.

The Public Advocate meets regularly with the Chief Psychiatrist to discuss systemic issues and concerns. These include issues related to:

  • the physical condition of involuntary mental health units at hospitals;
  • the treatment of involuntary mental health patients;
  • the use of restrictive practices; and,
  • the processes, approvals and monitoring associated with treatments including electroconvulsive therapy.