There are two aspects to administering the mental health act as a psychiatrist: 1) training and 2) definition of a psychiatrist by the Mental Health Act 2014 (MHA 2014)
- With regard to training: Mental Health Services are responsible for ensuring that psychiatrists are properly trained before they administer the MHA 2014 as psychiatrists.
- Mental Health Services must provide this training.
- Psychiatrists are also professionally responsible to ensure they are appropriately trained before they administer the MHA 2014.
- Psychiatrists who are using the MHA 2014 must update themselves about any changes in use of the legislation.
- The Chief Psychiatrist can advise on minimum training standards.
- The Mental Health Commission’s website has updates on the use of the MHA 2014 here.
- With regard to definition as a psychiatrist by the MHA 2014: not every psychiatrist can administer the Mental Health Act 2014. Only these psychiatrists can administer the MHA 2014 as Psychiatrists:
- Fellows of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), or
- A psychiatrist with specific ‘Specialist’ or ‘Limited’ registration with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA), or
- Psychiatrists prescribed by the Mental Health Act Regulations 2015
A psychiatrist who is not a Fellow of the RANZCP, and who has an AHPRA registration other than ‘Specialist’ or ‘Limited’ MUST NOT administer the Mental Health Act 2014 until his/her name has been formally prescribed by the Mental Health Regulations 2015, and published in the Western Australian Government Gazette. To do so places the psychiatrist at legal risk. Please contact the Chief Psychiatrist (firstname.lastname@example.org or on tel: 08 6553 0000) to clarify the process for being prescribed.
The Chief Psychiatrist has written to all Mental Health Services and Area Health Services regarding this matter and strongly encourages all psychiatrists to ensure their psychiatrist colleagues who are new to Australia are made aware of this.
As a guide: