Mental health

If you have a mental illness, you have important rights, including rights about how you receive treatment. Your rights are different, depending on whether you are a voluntary patient, involuntary patient in a hospital, or on a community treatment order.

There are laws about:

  • what mental illness is
  • how mental illness can be treated, including where a the patient cannot or does not consent, and
  • the rights of people with a mental illness, including how they receive treatment.

What if I have a complaint about a mental health service?

If you have a complaint about the care you have been provided with by a mental health service, the first step is to contact the hospital or health service where you were treated.

Information about the WA public health system, including information on how to make a complaint, is available from the Department of Health

If the complaint cannot be resolved, you can complain to the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office

If you were treated by a private provider, you can make a complaint directly to Health and Disability Services Complaints Office

Get help

Legal Aid WA does not give legal advice on mental health treatment or your rights as a patient. Here are some other agencies or organisations that may be able to help you.

Information about mental health
  • Mental Health Commission
    This website has information on mental health; links to helplines, counselling, drug and alcohol services, and other support services in the community; and information and resources for people about mental health, alcohol and other drug topics.

  • Office of the Chief Psychiatrist
    The Chief Psychiatrist is a role created under the Mental Health Act 2014 (WA), and has oversight for many different aspects of mental health treatment. This includes publishing standards for treatment and care to be provided by mental health services, and overseeing compliance with those standards.

  • Mental Health Tribunal WA - call (08) 6553 0060     
    Information about the Mental Health Act 2014 (WA) and the review process.

Legal and advocacy help
Other supports


Reviewed: 6 June 2018


The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.