The Mental Health Act And Restoration Of The Patient 's Rights

1897 Words 8 Pages
The Mental Health Act’s (1992) being and purpose is in place as a consequence of New Zealands long history. The Act’s role of compulsory care and restoration of the patient’s rights are significant changes from the previous stigma around mental health. These changes can be summarised as humanitarian concerns and emphasizing human rights. Dating back to the 19th century New Zealand’s ideas and systems surrounding mental health have always been primarily influenced by Europe. In these early years, mental health was stigmatised as a disease resulting in very unethical responses. Having no care or treatment available for the mentally ill, prison became the only option for very problematic family members. Socially, mentally ill people were outcasts. Even politically mental illness was stigmatised in negative terms, established by the early legislation of the Lunatics Ordinance (1846). Small assylums were built from the 1860’s and staffed by unmedically trained people. There was also no account for diversity in the asylums and care as people of all ages and conditions were held together.The 19th century held a significant emphasis on community involvement, containment and long-term care in regards to treating the mentally ill.

From the early 20th century, the stereotypes and representations of mental health was reduced significantly. The new legislation of the Mental Defectives Act (1911) constructed new ideas about mental health needs (Ball, 2010). This was achieved by changing…

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