Independent Mental Health Advocacy

The Mental Health Tribunal is not a part of a hospital or clinic. It is an independent tribunal, even if hearings occur at the hospital or service, that makes decisions about treatment orders and whether people can receive electroconvulsive treatment (ECT).

Although it has legal powers, it is not as formal as a court. It has members who are doctors, lawyers and community members.

If you disagree with the decision you can:

What the tribunal does

The Mental Health Tribunal can decide:

Victoria Legal Aid and the Mental Health Legal CentreExternal Link may be able to provide you with a lawyer to represent you at the tribunal. You can call Victoria Legal Aid (1300 792 387) and the Mental Health Legal Centre (03 9629 4422), or ask an advocate to make a referral to them and they will contact you. This service is free.

Victoria Legal Aid has information on how Mental Health Tribunal hearings workExternal Link .

You can also download Victoria Legal Aid's free publications:

Going to a Mental Health Tribunal hearingExternal Link , which includes worksheets to help you get ready for a hearing

Are you on a treatment order, which includes a form to revoke your treatment order.

Getting support from our advocates

If you prefer to represent yourself at the tribunal, our advocates can help you understand how the tribunal works, and give you information which will help you get ready to speak on your own behalf.

In most instances our advocates will not attend tribunal hearings with you, but you can take a support person with you. We do not provide legal representation or specific advice about how the law applies in your particular situation.

Find out more about how we can support youExternal Link .

Reviewed 26 September 2023


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