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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Queensland primed for major mental health reform as new laws passed

    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Thursday, February 18, 2016

    Queensland primed for major mental health reform as new laws passed

    Queensland will undertake its biggest mental health reform in 15 years after new legislation was passed today.

    Parliament today voted to introduce a range of new measures to help ensure better outcomes for mental health patients.

    Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick welcomed the passage of the Mental Health Bill 2015, saying it would benefit both Queenslanders living with mental illness and those who cared for them.

    “Today marks a historic day for our state and for the history of mental health support in Queensland,” he said.

    “This new legislation represents a major step forward for mental health consumers in this State, and will have significant benefits for clinicians, the legal fraternity and the wider community.

    “Queenslanders battling mental health issues deserve more respect and better treatment, and mental health consumers, their families and their carers deserve better rights.

    “These new laws will deliver precisely that, and they represent a win for all Queenslanders.”

    Mr Dick said the new laws overhauled the Mental Health Act 2000, which had not kept pace with developments in patient rights and clinical practice.

    The new legislation was introduced into Parliament last year, following extensive community consultation, which involved around 100 written submissions being received.

    Key points of the new laws include:

    • provisions to ensure more mental health patients receive a recommendation for assessment from an authorised doctor before discharge from emergency departments
    • regulating provisions around the use of physical restraint in authorised mental health services;
    • reallocating the power to require a forensic patient to wear a GPS monitoring device from a public servant to the independent Mental Health Court and the Mental Health Review Tribunal;
    • strengthening the requirements for doctors to consult with families, carers and other support persons; and
    • clarifying powers of magistrates when dealing with minor offences allegedly committed by a person with a mental illness or an intellectual disability.

    “These changes are a key component of the Palaszczuk Government’s broader and continuing focus on, and commitment to, improving the mental health of all Queenslanders,” Mr Dick said.

    ENDS

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