Online Resources for PACFA Members: Mental Health Legislation, Informed Consent and Confidentiality

The PACFA Ethics Committee has compiled examples of federal and state legislation regarding Mental Health, Informed Consent and Confidentiality as they stand in May 2020. Legislation is constantly being changed and amended and it is important that you check the legislation in place at the very specific moment you need to refer to it.

These are examples to give you an idea about what you may want to be looking for and where you may find the information. These are examples of resources. These sites are not the only sources.

We strongly recommend that individual practitioners search carefully within the Mental Health official and professional bodies in their own State to gather the most recent information.

Examples of Resources at the national level


  1. The PACFA Code of Ethics 2017
  2. Guidelines for Client Records
  3. Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners as applicable to relevant States and Territories

Office of the Australian Information Commissioner

  1. Guide to Health Privacy (Office of the Australian Information Commissioner) which also has information on data breaches and consequences of such breaches, as well as record keeping
  2. Data privacy legislation: Data Breach Preparation and Response
  3. Australian Privacy Principles Guidelines – Information on the Privacy Act, key terms used in the Australian Privacy Principles and Informed Consent
  4. Information on the Privacy Act – Key Concepts – key terms used in the Australian Privacy Principles and Informed Consent.


Examples of Resources at STATE & Territory level


Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) NSW

Privacy Resources for Private NSW Health Providers

A useful checklist for private sector providers on an individual’s access to information.



Victorian Department of Health – Mental Health Act (2014)

  1. Mental Health Act 2014
  2. Mental Health Act 2014 Handbook
  3. Mental Health Act 2014 Handbook (section): Recovery and supported decision making – Informed Consent



Queensland Health

  1. Guide to Informed Decision-Making in Health Care
  2. Mental Health Act 2016
  3. Mental Health Act 2016: Resources – Patient rights and support



South Australia Health

Mental Health Practitioner’s Guide to Sharing Consumer Information



Government of Western Australia Department of Health

Consent to Treatment Policy 2016


Government of Western Australia Mental Health Commission

  1. Mental Health Resources (Mental Health Act 2014 + Regulations 2015)
  2. Helping someone in distress



Government of Tasmania – Legislation

Mental Health Act 2013

Department of Health

  1. An Overview of the Mental Health Act 2013
  2. Mental Health Act – Resources
  3. Mental Health Act 2013 – Review 2020



ACT Government – Health

ACT Mental Health Act 2015  



Northern Territory Government

Mental Health and Related Services Act 1998


PACFA Ethics Committee

May 2020


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