Independent Mental Health Advocacy

I want to nominate a person to support me

A nominated person is somebody you nominate to receive information and support you while you are receiving treatment as a compulsory patient.

A nominated person is somebody you nominate to receive information and support you while you are receiving treatment as a compulsory patient under the Mental Health Act 2014.

Watch our video – introduction to nominated persons

We have developed a video with a consumer about nominating a person to help in your treatment. The video is also available with an AUSLAN interpreterExternal Link if you need.

Role of the nominated person

The nominated person must be consulted about treatment and can:

  • support you
  • help represent your interests
  • receive information
  • help you to exercise any of your rights under the Act.

The nominated person must be informed about your treatment and consulted for their opinion at key stages of your assessment, treatment and recovery in the mental health service.

This is a complex role, so it is important that you have conversations with your nominated person about your treatment preferences and how you want them to support you.

How to nominate a person

The nomination must:

  • be in writing
  • be signed and dated by you
  • give the name and contact details of the person you wish to nominate
  • include a statement signed by the nominated person that they agree to be nominated
  • be witnessed by an authorised witness.

Authorised witness

The authorised witness must make a statement that you understand the nomination and the consequences of making the nomination. The authorised witness can be a:

  • registered mental health practitioner – a doctor or psychiatrist
  • mental health practitioner – a social worker or a registered nurse, psychologist or occupational therapist working at a public mental health service
  • person authorised to witness statutory declarations.

The Department of Justice has a list of who can witness statutory declarationsExternal Link .

What you must consider when making a nomination

You must think about who is the best person to assist you. The person you ask must be willing, available and able to undertake the duties and responsibilities of the role.

Cancelling your nomination

You can revoke (cancel) a nomination at any time in writing.

You must sign and date the revocation.

The revocation must be witnessed by an authorised witness. The witness must include a written statement that you understand the revocation and the consequences of revoking the nomination. Only one person can be nominated. If you make a new nomination any previous nomination is revoked (cancelled).

If the person you have nominated does not want to continue to act as your nominated person, then they must take reasonable steps to tell you. They must also tell the authorised psychiatrist. Their nomination then ceases.

How an advocate can support you

If you are receiving compulsory treatment, you may feel you need help to understand and act on your rights in the mental health system.

Our independent advocates can:

  • listen to what you want and talk to you about your options
  • give you information and support to act on your rights
  • work with you so you can have your say
  • refer you to other services if requested.

Find out more about how we can support you.

We do not provide legal representation or specific advice about how the law applies in your particular situation. If you require legal help, ask your advocate to put you in touch with Victoria Legal Aid.

Download our guide and template for nominating a person to support you

To make it easier for you, we have provided a guide and template. The guide and template are available in IMHA design or First Nations design.

Reviewed 11 August 2022