Skip to navigation

Skip to content

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. 

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 visit National Principles to Support the Goal of Eliminating Mechanical and Physical Restraint in Mental Health Services

The National Mental Health Commission also applauds the document developed by the Restrictive Practice Working Group of the Safety and Quality Partnership Standing Committee and endorsed by the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Principal Committee on 15 December 2016 which outlines the national principles for communicating about restrictive practices with consumers and carers.

For more information visit National Principles for Communicating about Restrictive Practices with Consumers and Carers

"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

Get Help

24 Hour Emergency Services

Lifeline Australia

13 11 14

Suicide Call Back

1300 659 467

Kids Help Line

1800 551 800

More Services

Find Events

More Events

Read Documents

Strategic Priorities 2014 - 15 | PDF 95KB

Paid Participation Policy | PDF 571KB  

Annual Report 2015-16 | PDF 2.07MB

More Publications

Get Involved

eNews updates

Subscribe to RSS
(What is RSS?)