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Chapter 1 Section A: About this Manual

The Mental Health Rights Manual is designed to assist people living with mental health conditions, their carers, families and support persons, to navigate the mental health system in NSW. It outlines the relationship between mental health systems and related services. The Manual is useful for the mental health workforce as well as consumers and lay advocates who support consumers in their interactions with mental health services.

The Manual explains key international, national and state policies that regulate mental health care in NSW, and areas of law that impact consumers and their support persons.

One key reason why consumers and support people will consult the Manual is to work out what to do in a stressful situation. The Manual therefore includes contact and referral points across a wide range of areas.

The Manual is written in Plain English to assist readers from diverse backgrounds. Its easy-to-navigate format allows readers to quickly search for a topic.

While the Manual is not intended for lawyers, they may find the information useful because of its broad context. Similarly, the Manual does not contain clinical information and is not written for mental health professionals, yet they will find many aspects of the Manual useful.

We do urge lawyers and clinicians who work in mental health to become familiar with the Manual so they can recommend it to clients living with mental health conditions and their support networks. The Manual can also assist lawyers and clinicians to explain issues to mental health consumers and their support persons in Plain English.

Updated January 30, 2015