Section 5(c): immediate treatment will be provided if the person is subject to a compulsory treatment order

Section 5(c): immediate treatment will be provided if the person is subject to a compulsory treatment order

The treatment that will be provided under section 5(c) of the Mental Health Act 2014 (Vic) must be:

  • the same treatment identified under section 5(b) as being immediately necessary to prevent a relevant, serious consequence, and
  • actually provided as soon as the order is made (as opposed to being ‘theoretically’ available).

If there is no actual treatment being provided, or proposed to be offered immediately (compared with, say, monitoring or containment alone) then arguably this criterion will not be met.

For example, where a person on a community (temporary) treatment order is receiving medication from their GP and the only treatment being provided by the mental health service is 'monitoring', then it is arguable that no treatment will be provided under the order. Likewise, if the service does not have the resources and expertise to deliver the type of treatment required, the treatment would not be 'provided' under the order.

Similarly, the case of NLF [2014] VMHT 35 (8 September 2014) illustrates that where the evidence is unclear as to whether an order would ensure return to hospital and treatment of a person who was absent without leave from an inpatient unit, then section 5(c) will not be met.

Discussion point for engaging your client

  • Have they already, or will they be likely to get the necessary treatment which is proposed in the near future? If not, why not?

Look for and test the evidence

  • Identify the specific treatment(s) which have been determined to be immediately necessary under section 5(b).
  • Will each proposed treatment actually be provided to the person on an order?

Summary of cases relevant to section 5(c)

Unclear if person who was AWOL would be returned and treated due to the order

In NLF [2014] VMHT 35 (8 September 2014) the Mental Health Tribunal revoked the treatment order of a person who was absent from the inpatient unit without leave at the time of her hearing.

It was not satisfied NLF would be able to continue to get treatment if an order was made, as it was unclear whether the order facilitated police on a previous occasion apprehending her and returning her to the ward, or whether it was her ‘lifestyle and behaviour’ including itinerancy and drug use that drew police attention.

See also the case of EDY [2015] VMHT 37 (12 March 2015).

More information

Read more about the other treatment criteria:

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