Community management orders

Northern Territory Mental Health Line: 1800 682 288

A community management order is when you must live in the community while being treated involuntarily.

You may be placed on a community management order for up to six months by a doctor if any of the following apply:

  • have a mental illness
  • need treatment or care because you are likely to cause serious harm to yourself or someone else, or suffer serious mental or physical deterioration
  • you are not able to give informed consent
  • a treatment plan has been prepared for you that can be carried out in your community. 

Your treatment plan

You doctor will first put you on an interim community management order which lasts 14 days.

Within one day, your doctor must tell the Mental Health Tribunal, a lawyer or someone else who can represent you and your adult guardian about your interim order. 

A doctor will appoint a psychiatric case manager to oversee your treatment.

The tribunal will look at your treatment plan suggested by your doctor and case manager.

If the tribunal agrees with the treatment plan, this will be part of your community management order.

Your treatment plan may include any of the following:

  • who is responsible for your treatment
  • where the treatment or care is to take place - eg: your home
  • how often the person treating or caring for you must visit you, or you visit them
  • medications and/or treatment you will need to receive under the order.

If you disagree with the treatment plan you should talk to your psychiatric case manager/and or your doctor.

If you aren't happy you can apply to the Mental Health Tribunal for a review of your order. 

Transferring your order from another state 

You community management order from another state or territory can be transferred to the NT if the tribunal agrees.

The tribunal needs to make sure the order was in force in the state or territory you have come from, and the interstate mental health service and NT Mental Health Service agree to the transfer.

Reviewing your order

Your order will be reviewed by the tribunal within six months. They will decide whether to extend and/or change it.

You can also ask to have your ordered reviewed. 

You case manage will monitor your progress and report back to your doctor. Your doctor must also check on you as often as the community manage order says. 

Cancelling your order

If your psychiatric case manager or doctor decide you no longer need a community management order, they may cancel it.

Unless it is cancelled earlier, your community management order will finish on the date written on the order.

You will be given a discharge plan that will address your ongoing needs, and includes advice on how to get back in contact with the NT Mental Heath Service if you need to.

Your local doctor will be sent a letter telling them about the treatment you were given and what you will need from that doctor in the future. 

If you don't do what the order says

Your doctor and psychiatric case manager will try to help you follow the order.

However, they can suspend your order while they try to persuade you to do what the order says.

If your order is suspended your doctor will tell you, your adult guardian or representative the order is suspended.

It might mean you need to be admitted to the hospital and given your treatment if you don't agree to have treatment in the community. 

You may have to remain in hospital until you are well enough to be treated in the community again.

Last updated: 27 June 2017