The New South Wales Mental Health Act (1990) heralded a number of important changes to mental health legislation in the state. One of these was the option to give compulsory treatment to mentally ill clients living in the community. This article briefly explains community treatment under the Act, and the perceived benefits and the limitations of such legislation. A case example is used to illustrate some of these points. Involuntary community treatment is seen as a less restrictive alternative to hospitalisation for a number of mentally ill clients, but the use of such provisions demands significant resources from the supervising agency.
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