Mental Health

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Policy framework statement

The Mental Health Policy Framework specifies the legal, best practice, reporting and process requirements that all Health Service Providers (HSPs) must comply with in order to ensure effective and consistent provision of public mental health services across the WA health system.


The Director General (DG) of the Department of Health is the System Manager responsible for the overall management, strategic direction and stewardship of the WA health system. The DG will use policy frameworks to ensure a consistent approach to a range of matters undertaken by HSPs. Policy frameworks must be complied with and implemented as a part of ongoing operations.

The purpose of this policy framework is to ensure:

  • compliance with the legislative requirements under the Health Services Act 2016 and the Mental Health Act 2014
  • service coordination and integration in the provision of mental health services
  • the appropriate reporting of information to the Minister for Health, the Minister for Mental Health, the Mental Health Commission, the Chief Psychiatrist, the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office, and the System Manager. 


This policy framework is binding on each HSP to which it applies or relates.


The key principles that underpin this policy framework are:


Accessible and safe services that provide people experiencing mental health issues with timely treatment, care and support of a high quality, to promote recovery in the least restrictive manner that is consistent with their needs.

Accountability and improvement

Accountable services based on contemporary best practice and committed to continuous improvement.


Consistency with State and Australian Government mental health policies and compliance with mental health legislation and standards, including upholding of the Charter of Mental Health Care Principles.


A person-centred focus with a view to obtaining the best possible outcomes for people experiencing mental health issues, including by recognising diverse individual circumstances, life experiences, needs, beliefs, preferences, aspirations, values and skills, while delivering goal oriented treatment, care and support.

Legislative context

The Health Services Act 2016 refers to policy frameworks in ss. 26-27 and s. 34(2)(c).Other relevant parts in the Act that relate specifically to this policy framework include ss. 44-45.

The legislation below, may also apply: 

  • Mental Health Act 2014 and Mental Health Regulations 2015 
  • Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 1996 
  • Guardianship and Administration Act 1990

Mandatory requirements

Under this policy framework HSPs must comply with all mandatory requirements* including:

*Any mandatory requirement document that references the Hospitals and Health Act 1927 must be interpreted as a requirement under the Health Services Act 2016.

Policy framework custodian

Assistant Director General
Clinical Excellence Division

Enquiries relating to this policy framework may be directed to:


This policy framework will be reviewed as required to ensure relevance and recency. At a minimum this policy framework will be reviewed within two years after first issue and at least every three years thereafter.

Version Effective from Effective to Amendment(s)
1 1 July 2016 1 July 2017 Original version
2 1 July 2017 9 August 2017 New MP 0060/17.
3 9 August 2017 10 August 2017 New MP 0063/17 superseded OD 0659/16 and OD 0664/16
4 10 August 2017 4 October 2017 New MP 0062/17
5 4 October 2017 13 December 2017 New MP 0069/17, superseded OD 0591/15. New MP 0070/17, superseded IC 0223/15.
6 13 December 2017 19 December 2017 New MP 0074/17
7 19 December 2017 21 December 2018 Rescinded OD 0643/16.
8 21 December 2018 10 January 2018 Updated Policy Framework Custodian. Changes were not made to Policy Framework landing page until 10 January 2018.
9 10 January 2018 17 January 2018 Rescinded Addendum to Mental Health Complaints Partnership Agreement between Health and Services Disability Complaints Office, Department of Health, Council of Official Visitors, Office of the Chief Psychiatrist and Mental Health Commission (August 2015) from Supporting Information.
10 17 January 2018 17 October 2018 Rescinded OD 0596/15 from Mandatory Requirements, superseded by MP 0078/18 (Mandatory Requirement under Clinical Governance, Safety and Quality Policy Framework).
11 17 October 2018 22 November 2018 Rescinded OD 0635/13 from Mandatory Requirements
12 22 November 2018 24 December 2018 New MP 0099/18, supersedes
OD 0644/16.
13 24 December 2018  25 July 2019 New MP 0101/18 effective from 1 January 2019. 
14 25 July 2019  4 September 2019 Major Amendment MP 0101/18 v.2.0 - see the Document control section of the Policy which articulates the nature of these amendments. 
15 4 September 2019 29 July 2020 Australian Commission on Safety Quality in Health Care 2012 Ntl Safety Quality Health Service Standards removed as it is no longer current.
16 29 July 2020 Current Major Amendment to MP 0063/17 Requesting Road-Based Transport for Mental Health Patients Subject to Transport Orders Policy



This policy framework has been approved and issued by the Director General of the Department of Health as the System Manager.

Approval byDr D.J. Russell-Weisz, Director General, Department of Health
Approval date01 July 2016
Date published22 November 2018
File numberF-AA-40152


This policy framework is binding on those to whom it applies or relates. Implementation at a local level will be subject to audit.

Glossary of terms

Term Meaning
Applicability Under Section 26 of the Health Services Act 2016, policy frameworks may apply to:
  • All Health Service Providers
  • A type of public health service facility
  • A type of public health service
  • A type of staff member of a health service provider.
Health Service Provider Means a Health Service Provider established by an order made under section 32(1)(b) of the Health Services Act 2016.
WA health system Pursuant to section 19(1) of the Health Services Act 2016, means the Department of Health, Health Service Providers and to the extent that Contracted Health Entities provide health services to the State, the Contracted Health Entities.