Chief Psychiatrist’s Guidelines on the Sexual Safety of Mental Health Consumers in Western Australia
The Charter of Mental Health Care principles enshrined in the Mental Health Act 2014 states that mental health service must make every effort to treat people with mental illness with dignity; to uphold their fundamental human rights; to recognise and be sensitive and responsive to diversity; and uphold a person centred, recovery focus with a view to obtaining the best possible outcomes for people experiencing mental illness.
Ensuring people’s safety, including sexual safety, when accessing mental health services is fundamental to achieving these objectives.
In 2018 the Chief Psychiatrist has set up a reference group involving clinicians, consumers and carers to assist in producing guidelines and a clinical standard for the sexual safety of people accessing mental health services in WA.
The purpose of the Chief Psychiatrist’s Guidelines on the Sexual Safety of Mental Health Consumers in Western Australia is to provide practical strategies and advice on how mental health services can establish a service culture and environment that actively promotes sexual safety and responds appropriately to incidents that compromise this safety.
The Guidelines have been drafted, and are currently out for consultation. See further information here.
- Notifying alleged sexual incidents to the Chief Psychiatrist – Please refer to the Policies for Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Incidents to the Chief Psychiatrist for further information about notifying alleged sexual incidents.
- Responding to allegations of sexual assault – Please refer to the Department of Health 2012 Guideline ‘Responding to an allegation of sexual assault disclosed within a public mental health service‘.