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Involuntary Patient Order

Involuntary patient orders are used to detain people with a mental illness in a mental health facility where the person does not agree on a voluntary basis to treatment and/or hospitalisation. If a person is detained for treatment in a mental health facility, they may be brought before the Tribunal for a mental health inquiry within 2-3 weeks. At a mental health inquiry, the Tribunal can make an Involuntary Patient Order and set a maximum period of detainment of no longer than three months. The mental health facility must provide the patient with a written statement of their rights before the mental health inquiry. If the mental health facility wishes to extend a person’s involuntary stay beyond the initial period set at the mental health inquiry, then they must apply to the Tribunal for a further Involuntary Patient Order before the first order expires. When making an Involuntary Patient Order the Tribunal must consider whether or not the patient is a “mentally ill person” (as defined in the Act), and if they are at risk of serious harm to themselves or others. If the Tribunal decides that the person is not a “mentally ill person”, or if other care outside the mental health facility of a less restrictive kind is available and appropriate, then the person must be discharged. Discharge can be deferred for a period of up to 14 days by the Tribunal.