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National Seclusion and Restraint Project

In 2005, all Australian Governments agreed to act to reduce and where possible to eliminate the use of seclusion and restraint of people with mental health issues. Despite this, through our consultations, seclusion and restraint have consistently been raised as issues that people want something done about. They are raised by people with lived experience of mental health issues and their families, as well as service providers and policy makers.

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 National Mental Health Commission has released a position paper on seclusion and restraint in 2015, based on commissioned research.

Core Reference Group (CRG)

In 2013, the Commission formed a Core Reference Group (CRG) to oversee this work. The CRG is currently chaired by Mr Bradley Foxlewin and Prof Chris Ryan, and we thank Kath Thorburn for her previous co-chairing of the Group.

Members of the CRG include people with lived experience and their families, clinicians and people working in services, as well as human rights, legal and disability advocates.

View a list of the CRG members

How you can get involved

Sign up to the Seclusion and Restraint Declaration

In 2013 we launched the Seclusion and Restraint Declaration to encourage people to show their support for reducing and eliminating seclusion and restraint. We were encouraged by the response from individuals and organisations that have signed the Declaration and committed to being part of driving change. View the signatories here.

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to sign the Seclusion and Restraint Declaration.

Other ways you can get involved:

  • Display your Declaration around your home or office. Download the Declaration
  • Show your support via social media. Here is a suggested social media post.
  • Discuss the issues with friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to sign the Declaration. 

National Seclusion and Restraint Survey 

The survey is now closed. More than 1000 responses were received from the survey. Data collected from the survey will be used alongside focus groups and the direct input of people with lived experience, their families, friends and supporters as well as service providers, workforce interest groups and first responders. 

The results of this research will have important implications for policy development and will better inform the debate surrounding the use of seclusion and restraint. The Commission thanks everyone who told their story.

"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

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Strategic Priorities 2014 - 15 | PDF 95KB

Paid Participation Policy | PDF 571KB  

Annual Report 2015-16 | PDF 2.07MB

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