National Mutual Recognition Project

To our members

Recently the Department of Health, Mental Health Division was contacted VMIAC about the ‘National Mutual Recognition Project’ and asked for our involvement.

This project is intended to ‘harmonise’ Australian mental health legislation. Currently, when you travel to a different state, involuntary treatment orders are not recognised by the state that you travel to. This project would create a system that would mean that involuntary treatment orders are recognised nation-wide. This means that you could never move state to avoid compulsory treatment.

In short, the government wants involuntary treatment orders to be nationwide, not just in the state they are issues. The government sees this as an important step in order to ensure that people receive involuntary treatment no matter where they are.

VMIAC has formally declined to be involved in the project for a number of reasons. This is because it would be an expansion and an increase in the amount of involuntary treatment. Specifically, this is not in line with our values in opposing compulsory treatment. Secondly, it does not reflect the views of VMIAC’s staff, representatives and most importantly its members. Furthermore, it is not in line with the Victorian governments Royal Commission recommendation 55 that compulsory treatment should only be used as a last resort.

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