Independent Mental Health Advocacy

Independent Mental Health Advocacy – Know Your Rights

Title: Know Your Rights

Producer: Independent Mental Health Advocacy

Name of speaker: Ellisa Scott

If you are receiving compulsory treatment, you have rights under the Victorian Mental Health Act, receiving compulsory treatment means a mental health service has decided they think you need treatment even if you don't want it.

If you are receiving voluntary treatment, you can contact the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council on 9380 3900 to find out more about your rights. But let's talk about your rights when receiving compulsory treatment.

Do I have a say in my treatment? Yes, your service must support you to make your own decisions about treatment.

If you have concerns, you can make an advance statement which sets out what your preferences are for treatment in writing, nominate a person to support you, or get a second opinion. One way to do this is to contact the Second Psychiatric Opinion Service on 1300 503 426.

I don't want compulsory treatment. The service must give you a statement of rights, explain that statement of rights, give you a copy of your order, and explain why you are on an order. You can appeal your compulsory treatment order to the Mental Health Tribunal any time to do this. You can ask your service for the Mental Health Tribunal application form or contact the Tribunal on 1800 242 703 for advice. You can contact Victoria Legal Aid on 1300 792 387 or the Mental Health Legal Centre on 9629 4422.

I have been treated badly under the Act. You have the right to make a complaint. You can complain directly to the service by speaking to your contact nurse, the nurse in charge, or your case manager. You can also contact the Mental Health Complaints Commissioner on 1800 246 054.

I would like help to advocate. You can get in contact with IMHA, we're here to help. You can visit our website at You can contact us via email at You can call our phone line on 1300 947 820, Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Or you can call and listen to an audio recording of your rights on 1800 959 353 at any time.

You can ask your service, carer, or support person to help you contact us. If your support person would like to access assistance for themselves, they can contact Tandem Carers on 1800 314 325. You can contact the Public Advocate on 1300 309 337. The Public Advocate promotes and safeguards the rights and interests of people with disability and mental illness.

For more information about your rights, see our factsheets displayed at your service or visit our website at You can also scan this QR code to take you directly to the website.

Reviewed 28 August 2023