Mental Health Legal Service - text version

What is the Mental Health Tribunal?

If you have a mental illness and you are too unwell to make your own decisions about treatment, the Mental Health Tribunal (MHT) will be asked to make decisions on your behalf.
The MHT usually has three members:
a lawyer
a psychiatrist
a community member

A doctor must apply to the MHT for permission to treat you when you are unable to consent yourself.

The MHT can also decide if you need to stay in a hospital to have that treatment.

All MHT orders are reviewed regularly.

How do I make an appointment?

To make an appointment with a Mental Health Lawyer from Legal Aid contact us on 1300 366 611.

How much will it cost?

This service is free.

How Legal Aid can help?

  • We can meet with you and advise you about your rights and what might happen next.
  • We can attend hearings as your lawyer.
  • If an order is made, we can help you to understand the decision and explain what it means for you.
  • If you are unhappy about your order or treatment, we can advise you about your options.
  • We can represent you at review hearings as well.
  • We can help you to understand any letters or information that you have received from the hospital or from the MHT about your treatment.
  • We can support you to deal with any issues and concerns you have.
  • We can help with other legal matters.

Your rights as a patient

When you are in hospital for mental health assessment or treatment you have certain legal rights.

The hospital staff must provide you with a copy of your rights and help you to exercise those rights.

Your rights cover things like:

  • access to information about your diagnosis and treatment;
  • access to information about the world outside the hospital;
  • how you should be treated by hospital staff; and
  • being allowed to engage in cultural or religious practices.

These rights do not apply to things that could be a risk to your health and safety, or the safety of other people.

If you feel like your rights have been ignored or breached, Legal Aid can assist in making sure that your rights as a patient are respected.

Free Walk in Legal Advice

Come in for free legal advice. If you need representation, we can advise you and make an application for Legal Aid.

Hobart office

Monday to Friday
10:30am to 2:00pm
158 Liverpool Street Hobart TAS 7000

Launceston office

Monday, Wednesday & Friday
10:30am to 2:00pm
64 Cameron Street Launceston TAS 7250

Devonport office

Tuesday and Thursday
1:00pm to 2:00pm
8 Griffith Street Devonport TAS 7310

Burnie office

Tuesday and Thursday
12:30pm to 1:30pm
50 Alexander Street Burnie TAS 7320

For free legal advice call 1300 366 611

Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm
and speak directly to a lawyer

or find us on the web: www.legalaid.tas.gov.au

Last updated: 26/10/2017