If you have a mental illness, you have rights, including rights about how you get treatment. Your rights are different depending on what sort of patient you are and whether you are on a community treatment order.
There are laws about:
- what mental illness is
- how mental illness can be treated, including where the patient cannot or does not consent, and
- the rights of people with a mental illness, including how they get treatment.
This page has information about:
- where you can complain if you have a problem with your mental health treatment
- where you can get help about your treatment, and
- your rights as a patient.
What if I have a complaint about a mental health service?
If you have a complaint about the care you have been given by a mental health service, your first step is to contact the hospital or health service where you were treated. Talk to the people you have a problem with.
If your problem is not fixed, you can complain to the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office.
You can find out information about the WA public health system, including information on how to make a complaint, from the Department of Health.
Legal Aid WA does not give legal advice on mental health treatment or your rights as a patient. Here are some other organisations that may be able to help you.
Information about mental health
Mental Health Commission - call (08) 6553 0060
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 drugs.
Office of the Chief Psychiatrist
The Chief Psychiatrist is a role created under the Mental Health Act 2014 (WA). This person oversees many different parts of mental health treatment including the checking of standards of mental health care delivered throughout WA.
Mental Health Tribunal WA - call (08) 6553 0060
Information about the Mental Health Act 2014 (WA) and the review process.
Legal and advocacy help
Mental Health Law Centre - call the advice line on (08) 9328 8012 or 1800 620 285 (freecall)
Provides legal advice, assistance and representation on legal issues directly connected to a mental health problem.
Mental Health Advocacy Service - call (08) 6234 6300 or 1800 999 057 (freecall)
A free, independent service helping people with a mental illness protect their rights. It can help you apply to the Mental Health Tribunal and provide support for you in the hearing.
Health Consumers' Council of WA - call (08) 9221 3422 or 1800 620 780
Advocates for consumers with government, doctors, other health professionals, hospitals and the wider health system.
Mental Health Emergency Response Line - call 1300 555 788 (metro) or 1800 676 822 (Peel)
A free, 24-hour telephone information service for anyone with a mental health emergency in the community, including individuals, families, carers, member of the general public, and health workers.
Rurallink - call 1800 552 002 (freecall)
A specialist after-hours mental health service for those in rural or regional areas of WA. It operates from 4.30 pm - 8.30 am Monday to Friday, and 24-hours on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.
Mental Illness Fellowship of WA - call (08) 9237 8900
Provides services for people affected by mental illness.
HelpingMinds - call (08) 9427 7100 or 1800 811 747 (freecall)
Provides support and information to family and friends of WA people with mental health issues.
Wungen Kartup Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Service (SAMHS) - call (08) 9224 8935
Provides safe culturally supportive care to Aboriginal individuals and their families in the metropolitan area.
Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI)
Provides information for parents, children, family members, carers and friends to support children with parents who have a mental illness, including where to get help.
Ruah Community Services - call 13 78 24
Provides mental health and wellness services.
Reviewed: 26 August 2022