Community treatment orders and who can apply

What is a Community treatment order?

If a person has a mental illness and requires treatment to protect themselves and/or others from harm, but the person is unable to or does not agree to receive treatment, then a community treatment order can be made by authorised medical and health professionals and by SACAT to ensure that the person receives that treatment.

A community treatment order can only be made when there is no less restrictive ways of ensuring that a person gets the appropriate treatment.

Level 1 Community treatment order

A medical practitioner or authorised health professional may make a Level 1 Community treatment order (CTO).

That order can only be made for a period of up to 28 days and SACAT is required to automatically review it as soon as it can upon receiving notice of the order from the Office of Chief Psychiatrist but before the order expires.

SACAT must cancel the order after automatically reviewing it unless satisfied that there are grounds for the making of a Level 2 Community treatment order. No one needs to apply for an automatic review of a Level 1 CTO.

SACAT can make a Level 2 CTO following an automatic review of a Level 1 CTO if satisfied the requirements for the making of a Level 2 Community treatment order under section 16 are made out.

Who can apply to SACAT for a review of a Level 1 Community treatment order?

An application for a review of a level 1 CTO can be made by any of the following persons who are dissatisfied with a Level 1 Community treatment order:

  • the person who the order is about
  • the Public Advocate
  • a guardian, medical agent, relative, carer or friend of the person who the order is about
  • any other person who satisfies the Tribunal that he or she has a proper interest in the matter.

What does SACAT consider when reviewing a Level 1 Community treatment order?

SACAT will consider whether the order should remain in operation. SACAT will consider whether the person was examined by a medical practitioner or authorised health professional and if so whether there is evidence that

  • The person has a mental illness and
  • Because of the illness, the person requires treatment either for his/her protection from harm or for the protection of others from harm and
  • There are facilities and services available for appropriate treatment of the illness and
  • There is no less restrictive means than a Community treatment order of ensuring appropriate treatment of the illness.

What orders can SACAT make upon a review of a Level 1 Community treatment order?

At the end of a hearing of an application to review a Level 1 Community treatment order SACAT can do any one or more of the following:

  • dismiss the application
  • confirm the order
  • change the order
  • cancel the order
  • make an order that the Tribunal considers ought to be made including an order for the review of a treatment and care plan relating to the person but not including an Inpatient treatment order and can order that the treatment and care plan be reviewed.

A further application can be made to SACAT for a Review of a SACAT decision (Internal Review) regarding a review of a Level 1 Community treatment order.

Level 2 Community treatment order

An application can be made to SACAT for a Level 2 Community treatment order (CTO). An application can be made whether or not a Level 1 CTO exists or has previously been made but has expired.

What does SACAT consider when making a Level 2 Community treatment order?

SACAT will consider whether

  • the person has a mental illness and
  • because of the illness, the person requires treatment either for his/her protection from harm or for the protection of others from harm and
  • there are facilities and services available for appropriate treatment of the illness and
  • there is no less restrictive means than a Community treatment order of ensuring appropriate treatment of the illness
  • in considering whether there are less restrictive means SACAT must consider whether the person would be able to receive appropriate treatment on a voluntary basis

Who can apply for a Level 2 Community treatment order?

An application for a Level 2 CTO can be made by

  • the Public Advocate
  • a medical practitioner
  • a mental health clinician
  • a guardian, medical agent, relative, carer or friend of the person
  • any other person who can satisfy SACAT that he or she has a proper interest in the person’s welfare

An application can be made to SACAT for a Review of a SACAT decision (Internal Review) regarding a Level 2 Community treatment order.