What is a CTO?
A Community Treatment Order (CTO) is a legal order made by the Mental Health Review Tribunal that may require you to take medication or receive ongoing care support such as therapy when living in the community.
By not following the legal orders of a CTO you may be admitted to a mental health unit for treatment, including medication.
What is the purpose of a CTO?
A CTO allows for people who need extensive mental health care and support to live in the community and receive mental health treatment without having to stay in a mental health unit.
Who can receive a CTO?
A CTO can be made by the Mental Health Review Tribunal for a person who is either staying a mental health unit (either voluntarily or involuntarily) or already living out in the community.
When would someone receive a CTO?
A CTO is usually given if you are mentally unwell and would benefit from an order which is intended to keep you safe and well supported while living in the community. It requires you and your treatment team to follow a detailed treatment plan.
The Mental Health Review Tribunal has to be satisfied that this treatment plan is appropriate and can be effectively implemented in the community.
How long does a CTO last?
A CTO can last up to 12 months and ends when the order expires or 12 months after the order was made.
A CTO can also end if:
- The director of the mental health unit decides you do not need a CTO
- You successfully appeal the CTO to the Supreme Court
- The Mental Health Review Tribunal decides you no longer need a CTO
- The Mental Health Review Tribunal decides the order has no effect
Can I appeal a CTO?
You have the right to appeal a CTO if:
- it is made for longer than 6 months; or
- when no time frame has been given
How can I appeal a CTO?
If the CTO has been put in place by a Magistrate you can make an appeal to the Mental Health Review Tribunal.
If the CTO was made by the Mental Health Review Tribunal then you can appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.
If you wish to make an appeal to the Mental Health Review Tribunal or Supreme Court please contact the Mental Health Advocacy Service for advice on 1300 888 529.
How do I contact the Mental Health Review Tribunal?
Many larger mental health units have a Tribunal Clerk on site who is responsible for organising applications to the Mental Health Review Tribunal and can help you lodge one.
If your mental health unit does not have a Tribunal Clerk on site you will need to contact the Mental Health Review Tribunal directly for next steps You can also find the application form to request a review of your CTO
Once you have completed the application form you will need to email it to
firstname.lastname@example.org at least five business days before the proposed hearing date.
Where an application is urgent, it should be emailed to the Tribunal and then followed up by a phone call to a Senior Registry Officer. Applications may also be faxed to the Tribunal via (02) 9817 4543.
How can I best prepare for a Mental Health Review Tribunal Hearing?
- Request a clear explanation of your Statement of Rights. You can request staff to repeat and clarify parts that you don’t clearly understand. Staff must support you to understand your rights. The Statement of Rights is available in several languages. You can also request a translator to help explain your rights.
- Get clear on the following details for the meeting:
- Where will it be held?
- Who will be there?
- What questions might they ask me?
- What questions would you like to ask?
- What kind of decisions can the Mental Health Review Tribunal make?
- What is the process going to look like?3. Find a time and private space before the meeting to speak to your legal representative, friend, carer and/or advocate and prepare for the hearing.
3. Find a time and private space before the meeting to speak to your legal representative, friend, carer and/or advocate and prepare for the hearing.
4. Consider if you would like to have a peer worker, cross-cultural consultant, interpreter or translator to be present at the hearing. Speak to your mental health staff members about organising this
MENTAL HEALTH REVIEW TRIBUNAL
WANT TO LODGE A COMPLAINT?
Consider first providing feedback or making a complaint directly to the health service or staff. Click the link
If you would like to escalate the matter further, you can click here to make an inquiry or lodge a complaint online to the Health Care Complaints Commission or call 1800 043 159.
NEED ADVOCACY SUPPORT?
Visit the Official Visitors website or call 1800 208 218 for more information.
NEED LEGAL SUPPORT?
Contact the Mental Health Advocacy Service, Legal Aid on 1300 888 529. You can also visit the Legal Aid website.