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Background to this edition of the manual

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The first edition of the Mental Health Rights Manual was a project co-ordinated by the Mental Health Coordinating Council in 1995, published by Redfern Legal Centre Publishing with the assistance of the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW. In 2004, again with the support of the Law and Justice Foundation, the second edition of the Manual was developed as an online resource. Late in 2008, the MHCC were successful in securing part funding from the Law and Justice Foundation to update, extensively rewrite and redesign the third edition of the NSW Mental Health Rights Manual to reflect the changing service and legal environment, utilising a greatly improved  online capability.

The Mental Health Rights Manual (4th Edition, 2015) is a ‘living document’. The Mental Health Coordination Council (MHCC) regularly update its contents to maintain relevance to legislative and policy reform, new standards and guidelines and environmental transformation.

Mental Health Coordinating Council appreciate users of the Manual advising us of changes that concern any of its contents, whether legal, service related or merely to correct address details and resource availability updates.

You can provide this feedback by emailing us at:

Whilst not intended as a legal resource, a really important consideration is to present information with as much legal accuracy as possible, but do so in a form that is easy digestible for anyone interacting with the legal, mental health and human service systems in NSW. For this reason the Mental Health Coordinating Council invited a lawyer with extensive experience in the mental health and disability sectors to be consultant to the project and undertake the role as principal author of most of the new material, particularly that which has a legal focus.

This 4th Edition of the Mental Health Rights Manual has been produced by the Mental Health Coordinating Council with financial assistance from the Mental Health Commission of NSW. Revisions and much of the new material has been written by Phillip French, of Phillip French Consulting, working together with Corinne Henderson, Senior Policy Advisor MHCC, acting as Project Coordinator, Editor, and contributor particularly on community sector matters.

Updated August 31, 2015