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The new Mental Health and Wellbeing Act 2022 (MHW Act) came into effect on 1 September 2023, replacing the Mental Health Act 2014 (MHA).  

Our clinical guidance on caring for people displaying acute behavioural disturbance in emergency settings aims to support clinicians to provide person-centred, evidence-based care for some of our most vulnerable Victorians. 

Download the guidance

  • It applies to people aged 16–65 years, with acknowledgement that some concepts may apply to people outside this range. 
  • It applies to people in emergency departments and urgent care centres and may be adapted for pre-hospital care such as ambulance services. 
  • It does not apply to people with a clear organic cause for their acute behavioural disturbance such as a closed head injury, dementia or delirium. 

In addition to the clinical guidance, there is a quick reference visual summary available, see 'Downloads'. 

More information 

You can find more information on Health.vic:

Get in touch

Clinical Guidance Team
Safer Care Victoria

Version history

First published: April 2020

Reviewed and updated: April 2024

Due for review: April 2027

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