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Definitions for mechanical and physical restraint in mental health services

03 May 2017
The National Mental Health Commission commends the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council for endorsing national definitions for mechanical and physical restraint in mental health services.

The key principles define restrictive practices as a last resort, while the dignity and rights of people accessing mental health services should be respected and supported at all times.

Reducing, and where possible eliminating, restrictive practices in mental health services has been a key national mental health safety and quality priority.

The national principles aim to establish a consistent best practice approach to support the goal of eliminating the use of mechanical and physical restraint by mental health services.

It is envisaged the principles will guide and support the development and review of detailed jurisdictional operational guidelines as appropriate across a range of service settings. The principles are intended to apply to all mental health services in Australia.

For more information, download National Principles to Support the Goal of Eliminating Mechanical and Physical Restraint in Mental Health Services (189KB).

The Commission also endorses the document which outlines the national principles for communicating about restrictive practices with consumers and carers.

For more information, download National Principles for Communicating about Restrictive Practices with Consumers and Carers (162KB).