Amendments and Statutory Review of the Mental Health Act (2014)


The Mental Health Act 2014 (the Act) provides for the treatment, care, support and protection of people who have a mental illness; the protection of the rights of people who have a mental illness; and the recognition of the role of families and carers in providing the best possible care and support to people who have a mental illness, in the least restrictive environment.

Under section 587 of the Act, the Minister for Mental Health is required to undertake a review of the operation and effectiveness of the Act as soon as it is practicable five years after the commencement (the Act came into operation on 30 November 2015).

As the agency principally responsible for assisting the Minister in administering the Act, the Commission was tasked with conducting the Review. The Review was delayed due to the COVID-19 emergency, however it formally commenced in 2021 and concluded in early 2024.  A Steering Group was established to oversee and guide the Review process.


The objectives of the Review were to:

  • identify elements of the Act that work well;
  • identify opportunities where the Act could be improved; and
  • make recommendations to the Minister and Parliament.

Report on the Statutory Review of the Mental Health Act 2014

The Minister tabled the Report on the Statutory Review of the Mental Health Act 2014 and Government Response in Parliament on 16 April 2024.  The Report includes 54 recommendations for legislative amendment that aim to improve the operation and effectiveness of the Act. The Government Response has accepted all recommendations in the Review Report in principle.

Find out more about the Review Report.

The Review Report has been informed by all of the information gathered during the Review process, and is reflective of the State Government’s current priorities.

The Report also highlights areas for system improvement such as in education, training and organisational process and practice that can be implemented without the need for legislative amendment.  These improvements will play an important role in supporting the ongoing application of the Act and the proposed amendments.

Next Steps

The Commission will commence planning for the development of an Amendment Bill.

This will involve further scoping work for the 54 legislative amendments which have been accepted in principle, which will include some additional consultation with stakeholders to determine  resourcing implications and other operational issues.

The Commission will also examine the key system improvement issues identified in the Review Report that do not require legislative amendment. This will be done in collaboration with other government agencies and relevant stakeholders.

Review process

The Review took a mixed-methods approach which included:

Public submissions

The Mental Health Commission undertook a six-month public comment period, supported by the release of a Discussion Paper, which opened on 13 August 2021 and closed on 31 January 2022.

The Discussion Paper outlined a series of issues and proposed amendments that had been raised with the Mental Health Commission since the Act came into effect in November 2015. Public comment was invited on the previously proposed amendments and issues as well as any other part of the Act.

The Commission heard from people who:

  • Have received treatment under the Act;
  • Have supported someone who received treatment under the Act;
  • Work in the mental health sector, including as an advocate or volunteer;
  • Have feedback about the operation and effectiveness of the Act.

Community grants process

The Mental Health Commission coordinated a community grants process, through which organisations received grants from the Mental Health Commission for the purpose of conducting engagement sessions with consumers, carers and families across Western Australia.

Desktop review

The Review considered a range of publicly available information and documents relevant to the operation and effectiveness of the Act. This included a review of mental health legislation in comparable jurisdictions, along with any recently published statutory reviews or Royal Commission reports in those jurisdictions.

Literature reviews

Informed by the consultation process, the Mental Health Commission and Steering Group identified four key themes which required further investigation to inform the Review. The Mental Health Commission engaged researchers who completed the following literature reviews on these key themes:

Statutory Review of the Mental Health Act 2014: Literature Review of Advance Health Directives

Authors:  Assoc. Professor Meredith Blake, Ms Eleni Kannis

Protection of Rights in Mental Health Law

Authors: Associate Professor Chris Maylea, Dr Piers Gooding, Ms Vrinda Edan

Legislation and other approaches to reduce seclusion and restraint in adult inpatient mental health services: a systematic mapping review

Authors: Richard Gray, Nompilo Moyo, Lisa Brophy, Chris Maylea, Tessa-May Zirnsak

Supported Decision Making in Mental Health: A Literature Review

Author: Consumers of Mental Health WA

Please note that these reports were independently undertaken by the authors. Therefore, the content has contributed to the wider Mental Health Act 2014 Statutory Review process, however, does not necessarily reflect the views or position of the WA Government or the Mental Health Commission.

Complex issues workshops

Workshops were undertaken between August and September 2022 to further investigate several complex issues identified through the Review Process.

The workshops included a diverse range of government and non-government stakeholders, including people with lived experience and those who administer and work within the Act’s legislative framework.

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