A new feature of the 2014 Victorian Mental Health Act is the inclusion of an individual known as a Nominated Person. Their role is to assist in providing support for the patient and also to protect their interests. In addition, the Nominated Person may help the patient in exercising their rights. They can also help communicate the views and preferences of the patient with regard to their treatment and recovery plans.

A Nominated Person will be provided with information throughout the patient's treatment and recovery. They will also be advised if there is a Mental Health Tribunal hearing to take place.

Who Can Be A Nominated Person?

Anyone can be a Nominated Person under the Act. It can even be a minor who may be involved in a caring role and consequently very familiar with the patient's treatment plans and desires. The most important thing is that the person who is to take on the role fully understands what it is that the patient wishes them to do in certain circumstances throughout the treatment and recovery process. Obviously a person taking on such a role should also be readily accessible in a time of crisis, not only to the patient, but also to the treating mental health team.

Revocation of a Nominated Person

Once a person takes on the role of Nominated Person, the appointment is not limited by time. The only way the appointment can be revoked is by the completion of a form to remove the nomination.

Authorised Witnesses

With both the Appointment of the Nominated Person and also the Revocation of an Appointment, the documents must be witnessed by an Authorised Person under the Mental Health Act. The witness needs to ascertain that the person understands the forms they are signing and the meaning of either the appointment or revocation of an appointment. For this reason, it may be wise to have a mental health professional witness the forms as they understand the meanings of the form in the first place.

There is a considerable amount of additional information on the Dept of Health's website regarding Nominated Persons.

You can download the forms below to appoint a Nominated Person and also to Revoke the appointment of a Nominated Person.