The Mental Health Related Services Act 1998 (MHRSA) provides the legislative framework to enable the operation of mental health services to provide for the care, treatment and protection of people with mental illness and for related purposes.
The role of the Community Visitor Program (CVP) is set out in Part 14 of the Act.
The jurisdiction of the CVP in mental health includes all treatment facilities (inpatient psychiatric units) and treatment agencies. The two main entities are Top End Health Service – Mental Health Service and Central Australian Health Service – Mental Health Service.
The protection of the rights of people receiving treatment from mental health services is one of the CVP’s main functions. Sections 104(1) and 111(2) of the Act allow community visitors and community visitors panels to look into the adequacy of services for assessment and treatment of persons receiving treatment under the Act, as well as any failure of a person employed by mental health services to comply with the Act.