New Zealand’s mental health legislation should reflect modern approaches to human rights, supported decision-making and informed consent.
The Mental Health (Compulsory Assessment and Treatment) Act 1992 (Mental Health Act) is out of date, and does not reflect best practice or align with our international commitments. We have high rates of compulsion and seclusion.
The Mental Health Act should be repealed and replaced. Any new law needs to reflect a human rights–based approach, align with modern models for mental health care and minimise the use of compulsion, seclusion and restraint.
New Zealand needs a national–level discussion to reconsider beliefs, evidence and attitudes about mental health and risk.