New Mental Health and Wellbeing Act in operation

Victorian Government Solicitor's Office
3 Oct 2023

On Friday 1 September 2023, the new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 came into operation in Victoria. The new Act replaces the Mental Health Act 2014, and is the result of a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System Final Report (Recommendation 42).

The objectives of the new Act are wider and focus on high-level, system-wide reform to improve outcomes for persons accessing mental health and wellbeing services in Victoria.

The new Act also sets higher standards of accountability for those providing mental health and wellbeing services in Victoria and requires that mental health and wellbeing service providers:

  • make all reasonable efforts to comply with the mental health and wellbeing principles set out in the Act
  • give proper consideration to those principles when decision making in their role as a service provider

Key changes

  • New public bodies and officers established under the Act to provide system oversight (Chief Officer for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission, Regional Multiagency Panels, Regional Mental Health and Wellbeing Boards, and Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing Victoria)
  • Mental health emergencies be health-led, rather than by police, with the least restrictive approach possible
  • Tighter regulation of restrictive chemical interventions
  • A new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander self-determination information principle, which requires that information be treated in a manner that promotes self-determination and is culturally safe, acknowledging connections to family, kin and community
  • Provides non-legal mental health advocacy services with greater power to be able to access personal and health information and engage with mental health and wellbeing services on behalf of their client
  • Provides clarity around the role of information sharing and disclosure when engaging with families, carers and support workers, to assist those persons in providing support and care.

With a depth of experience and expertise in this area, we can assist you as part of the Victorian Government or a Victorian Public sector employee by providing:

  • legal advice in respect of the new Act
  • legal training and workshops
  • other legal services to assist you in understanding and navigating the new Act. 

Contact our team

Please contact us if you would like more information regarding the content of this update.

Nidal Sayegh Lead Counsel
M 0438 743 489 E

Andrea Mapp Managing Principal Solicitor
M 0447 314 701 E