Visit our Clinical Hub ยป
12 April 2018
print version

Q. What is the purpose of the Mental Health Commission's Reference Guide on The Mental Health Act 2001?

A. The Mental Health Commission's Reference Guide is written to provide a clear and practical understanding of the major objectives and requirements of the Mental Health Act 2001, as at 26th August 2005.

>> View Part 1 of Reference Guide (Adults)
>> View Part 2 of Reference Guide (Children)

As there may be future amendments to the legislation, in response to advances in treatment of mental disorders and to developments in service delivery systems, the Reference Guide may be subject to updates. Therefore, if you download the Reference Guide for use it is your responsibility to check the Mental Health Commission website on a regular basis for updates as the Mental Health Commission can not be responsible for any out of date information. If you wish to be notified via email of any future changes to the Reference Guide please send your contact details with a brief message to

This Reference Guide should not be relied on as a legal interpretation of the Mental Health Act 2001. It is not intended to be a complete or authoritative statement of the law and is not intended as legal advice or advice of any type. It is a Reference Guide only and must be read in conjunction with the provisions of the Mental Health Act 2001, any regulations made there under and any other relevant legislation.

The Minister for Health and Children signed the commencement order in relation to sections 1 to 5 and 7 (Part 1), and sections 31 to 55 (Part 3) of the Mental Health Act 2001 in April 2002. These sections refer primarily to the establishment of the Mental Health Commission and the appointment of the inspectorate of the mental health services by the Commission.

The Commission is committed to implementing the remaining parts of the Mental Health Act, 2001.