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Compulsory community mental health care: Oceania 

Compulsory community mental health care: Oceania
Compulsory community mental health care: Oceania

Anthony J. O’Brien

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date: 08 December 2021

Oceania is characterized by the diversity of countries and by highly variable provision of mental health services and community mental health care. Countries such as Australian and New Zealand have well-developed mental health services with a high level of provision, but many less developed countries lack mental health infrastructure. Some developing countries such as Samoa and Tonga have passed mental health legislation with provision for community treatment orders, but this legal measure is probably not a useful mechanism for advancing mental health care in developing countries. Instead, efforts to improve provision of care seem best directed to the primary care sector, and to the general health workforce, rather than to specialists. The UN CRPD offer extensions of human rights to people with mental illness and most countries in Oceania have signed it. However, the absence of a regional rights tribunal potentially limits the realization of those rights.

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