RANZCP New Professional Practice Guidelines for the administering electroconvulsive therapy.


The Royal Australian New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) has recently published professional practice guidelines that provide practical guidance for psychiatrists prescribing and administering electroconvulsive therapy.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment with a strong evidence base for a number of major depressive disorders and other psychiatric disorders. The purpose of the RANZCP guidelines is to encourage ECT practice that minimised adverse effects and improved outcomes for patients.

Please note that under the Mental Health Act 2014 ECT services and clinicians in Western Australia must have regard to the Chief Psychiatrist’s Guidelines for the use of Electroconvulsive Therapy in Western Australia when prescribing and administering ECT. The Chief Psychiatrist Guidelines for the Use of Electroconvulsive Therapy in WA  are currently being updated in line with evidence from research and best practice and ECT Guidelines from other Australian and international jurisdictions and professional bodies, including the RANZCP guidelines.

Seclusion and Restraint Data

The Chief Psychiatrist is committed to reducing the rate of restrictive practices, seclusion and restraint, in Western Australia (WA).  Nationally, WA has been a leader in reducing the rates of restrictive practices.  In order to promote transparency in the use of restrictive practices in WA, the Chief Psychiatrist has committed to publishing the rates of seclusion and restraint bi-annually for each authorised mental health service. 

The rates of seclusion and restraint for the first two quarters of the 2018-19 financial year can be found here:  WA Seclusion and Restraint Data.

Mental Health Complaint Handling Guidelines

The Health and Disability Services Complaints Office (HaDSCO) has now finalised and released the Guidelines for handling complaints about mental health services for service providers to use as a reference tool and develop complaint handling systems appropriate to the needs of their organisation.

The link to the Guidelines page on the HaDSCO website is:


MH-Smile: Better Mental Health through Screening and Monitoring physical health, brief Intervention and health Literacy Education

MH-SMILE is a 12 month program to improve physical health outcomes in people with a mental health concern/illness, living in the Cockburn region of Western Australia (WA).

The program sims to reduce the physical health disparity between this group and the general population.  The areas specifically targeted are to improve dietary intake and physical activity levels, lower diabetes, cardiovascular, metabolic and respiratory disease risks, reduce alcohol and other drug use and improve oral health and sexual health.

Clients who meet the following criteria may be referred to the MH-SMILE 12 month structured program free of chart:

  • Aged 16 years and over
  • Live in the Cockburn region of WA
  • Have an identified mental health concern/illness
  • Willing to attend screening for mental health and physical health issues at Cockburn Wellbeing and four follow-up health assessments.

MH-SMILE is provided through Cockburn Wellbeing, situated at Cockburn Integrated Health, 11 Wentworth Parade, Success, WA 6164.

If you have a client you would like to refer to MH-SMILE please email cockburnwellbeing@curtin.edu.au.

Invitation to Presentation by Dr Mathew Coleman, Consultant Psychiatrist: Findings- Specialist Smoking Cessation Clinic

Australians with mental illness have higher smoking rates than the general population and they are more likely to die as a consequence of smoking than from their psychiatric condition.   Smoking cessation programs are needed, but do they work in mental health facilities?  Is there an effective, evidence-based clinical model that can be applied in Australian mental health settings?

The Chief Psychiatrist invites you to hear Dr Mathew Coleman, Consultant Psychiatrist, present the findings from the specialist smoking cessation clinic recently trialled in the Great Southern Mental Health Service.

3:30pm Thursday 10 January 2019
Kambarang Room
Level 1, 1 Nash St Perth

The Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation 2018

The Third Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation will be officially launched today by the Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt.

Exploring variation in care is one way of identifying whether people in different parts of Australia are being offered appropriate care – that is, care that optimises benefits and minimises harms, and is based on the best available evidence.

Among the findings in the 2018 Atlas is the observation that more work is needed to ensure appropriate prescribing of antipsychotics and medications for ADHD. A discussion of this information can be found in Chapter 5.  Of particular interest are the recommendations for prescribing antipsychotic medication to people aged 65 years and over.

The 2018 Atlas is available on the website of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare.