Chapters poster

Download your Mental Health Rights Manual poster here

Mental Health Rights Manual

An online guide to help explain your legal and human rights in the mental health and human services systems in New South Wales.

The Mental Health Rights Manual is a plain English guide written to help you better understand your rights, find out where to access support and discover information for yourself or someone you know.

The Manual

This guide is produced by Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC) to provide an invaluable resource bringing together information useful to anyone needing to navigate the complex mental health service system in NSW.

The Manual is written to support customers, carers, support people and practitioners and provides a wide range of mental health and related material.

MHCC hopes you find the Manual useful, it is a well-regarded resource that aims to assist you understand your rights and advocate on behalf of yourself and others.

This resource is available online in an easy to access and read format.

Who is the guide for

Our key objective for the Mental Health Rights Manual is to provide a single comprehensive resource for people with lived and living experience of mental health conditions, their carers, families, and support people across a range of service contexts.

This is not a resource for lawyers, but they may find it useful to explain issues of concern to clients in more simple terms and to direct them to a range of useful services and resources.

For help using this online resource click here.

Latest edition

The Mental Health Rights Manual is now in its 5th edition.

The latest version was published in 2021 after an extensive and rigorous review and rewrite to update the content.

MHCC thanks the Mental Health Commission of NSW for supporting this upgrade.

Keeping information updated

This guide seeks to reflect the dynamically evolving mental health and human services environment, including information about the NDIS.

As far as possible, the Manual includes the most recent information about state and national legislation and related policy guidelines and standards.

MHCC endeavours to update new material as it becomes available but cannot guarantee the information is current, comprehensive or complete.

We welcome you contacting us if there is a subject or a topic that needs including. Please also contact us if any of the organisation details have changed.

History of the Manual

For 25 years the Mental Health Rights Manual has been helping people navigate the mental health and human services systems in New South Wales.

The Manual was first conceived in 1995 and launched in partnership with the Redfern Legal Service as a printed resource.

In 2010 the Manual went online and since then has gone through five updates to ensure information is up to date with legislative and regulatory changes.

The 5th Edition of the Manual was most recently updated in 2021.


The material in this Manual is for reference only and MHCC cannot be held responsible for the use of the information. MHCC does not continually maintain the material and cannot undertake to ensure that it is at all times accurate, current, suitable or complete. Where conditions and warranties implied by law cannot be excluded, MHCC limits its liability where it is entitled to do so. Otherwise, MHCC is not liable for any loss or damage (including consequential loss or damage) to any person, however caused (including for negligence), which may arise directly or indirectly from the material or the use of such material.