Welcome to this module on the nominated persons and carer provisions of the Mental Health Act 2014. This module is the first part of the training program for the Working with Nominated Persons, Families & Carers Project developed by The Bouverie Centre at La Trobe University. It describes the 'essentials' for understanding and complying with the relevant provisions. The primary audience for this training is psychiatrists and practitioners employed in public mental health services, consumers, families and carers. It is however also relevant to MHCSS practitioners, GPs and other human service professionals who may work with people experiencing mental illness.

At a practice level what brings these provisions together is the need to work well with the consumer and the significant people (nominated person, carers, family members including children or friends) in a consumer's life. The Act recognises the role carers play in supporting a consumer including their role in supporting a consumer’s decision making about treatment. The introduction of a nominated person role provides a new option for the consumer to appoint a person of their choosing to support them in making decisions and in representing their views and preferences during a period of compulsory treatment.

This module will explore the key principles underpinning the new provisions and what you are required to do to comply with the Act. The content of this module will be relevant to mental health practitioners and psychiatrists working in a range of settings, e.g. acute inpatient units, emergency departments, secure extended care units, community care units, integrated community teams, mobile teams and other settings.

This module will be complemented by a series of locally facilitated workshops that will help you become more confident in

  • establishing the nominated person and carer roles
  • enabling the nominated persons and carer provisions
  • working with complexity under the nominated persons and carer provisions including working with young people under the age of 18 with caring responsibilities and with consumers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent and from other cultural backgrounds.

As you work through this module you will be prompted to reflect on what you are reading and make notes about any questions or concerns you have to bring along to the workshops for discussion.

Learning outcomes for this module

After working through this module, you should be able to

  1. discuss the relationship between recovery, the involvement of families, supported decision making and the nominated persons and carer provisions.
  2. explain the basic requirements of the Act in relation to nominated persons, families and carers.
  3. detail the actions required at relevant points in the care of a patient in order to comply with the Act.

Glossary: When you see a term or acronym highlighted like this click on it to read a definition for this context. The link to the definition will only appear on first usage of the term.

This module should take you between 30 - 45 minutes to complete.