Decision making for people with mental illness

Mental illness can impact on decision-making, and your capacity to make a decision may vary according to:

  • the nature and extent of your impairment at the particular time that a decision is needed
  • the type and complexity of decision that needs to be made.

Guardianship for adults

If your decision-making is impaired by mental illness, you may be appointed a guardian by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal to make decisions on your behalf.

Find out more about guardianship for adults.

Decisions for the future

You can pre-empt any future questioning of who needs to make a decision for you if—or when—you can't, by making an:

  • enduring power of attorney—appointing someone to make personal and financial decisions on your behalf. Decisions this person makes have the same legal power as if you had made the decisions yourself.
  • advance health directive—allowing you to specify beliefs that could affect treatment, say what you do—or do not—want and appoint someone to make health decisions for you that are not otherwise covered.

Community visitors

A community visitor safeguards the interests of adults with impaired capacity or a mental or intellectual impairment living in:

  • authorised mental health facilities with in-patient services
  • supported accommodation hostels (level 3)
  • accommodation where an adult lives and receives services from Department of Communities (Disability and Community Care Services) or Queensland Health.

Community visitors have both inquiry and complaint functions. They look into issues raised by residents or their representatives and try to resolve concerns at the time of their visits. Unresolved matters may be referred to senior management onsite or an external agency for further investigation or resolution.

The community visitors' functions and powers are authorised under the Guardianship and Administration Act 2000.

The Department of Justice and Attorney-General explains how community visitors make unannounced visits and what they'll do while at a facility.