National Seclusion and Restraint Project
The Commission is leading a national project to look at best practice in reducing and eliminating the seclusion and restraint of people with mental health issues and to help identify good practice approaches.
The project is in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada and Australian partners, including the Safety and Quality Partnerships Subcommittee, Disability Discrimination Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights Commission and the involvement of state mental health commissions.
The project will extend beyond the health and hospital system and facilities (such as inpatient units and emergency departments) to include the use of seclusion and restraint in community, custodial and ambulatory settings and by first responders. Hearing from people who have a lived experience will be an important part of the research for the national project.
Visit the project website to find out more.
A multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the University of Melbourne headed up by Professor Bernadette McSherry will undertake a research project into the extent of seclusion and restraint in Australia and comparable countries and provide examples of the reduction and elimination of these practices.
Core Reference Group (CRG)
The Commission has formed a Core Reference Group (CRG) of experts that includes people with lived experience and their families, clinicians and people working in services, as well as human rights, legal and disability advocates.
Sign up to the Seclusion and Restraint Declaration
In 2005, all Australian Governments agreed to act to reduce and where possible to eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint. Despite this, when the National Mental Health Commission was started in 2012, seclusion and restraint was raised time and time again as an issue that people want something done about. It was raised by individuals and their families, and it was raised by services providers and policy makers.
Recognising that 45% of Australians will experience a mental health problem in their lifetime – and that the true beneficiaries of reduced seclusion and restraint are people living with mental health problems and those who support them. We invite you to sign up to the declaration and be part of driving change.
"Even the most disadvantaged Australians should be able to lead a 'contributing life,' whatever that means for them and this simple goal will be our touchstone and yardstick."
Chair Prof Allan Fels AO
National Mental Health Commission