Community treatment orders and who can apply

What is a Community treatment order?

If a person has a mental illness and requires treatment to protect themselves and/or others from harm, but the person is unable to or does not agree to receive treatment, then a community treatment order can be made by authorised medical and health professionals and by SACAT to ensure that the person receives that treatment.

A community treatment order can only be made when there is no less restrictive way of ensuring that a person gets the appropriate treatment.

Level 1 Community treatment order

A medical practitioner or authorised health professional may make a Level 1 Community treatment order (CTO).

That order can only be made for a period of up to 28 days.


Level 2 Community treatment order

An application can be made to SACAT for a Level 2 Community treatment order (CTO). An application can be made whether or not a Level 1 CTO exists or has previously been made but has expired.

What does SACAT consider when making a Level 2 Community treatment order?

SACAT will consider whether

  • the person has a mental illness and
  • because of the illness, the person requires treatment either for his/her protection from harm or for the protection of others from harm and
  • the person has impaired decision-making capacity and
  • there is no less restrictive means than a Community treatment order of ensuring appropriate treatment of the illness
  • in considering whether there are less restrictive means SACAT must consider whether the person would be able to receive appropriate treatment on a voluntary basis

Who can apply for a Level 2 Community treatment order?

An application for a Level 2 CTO can be made by

  • the Public Advocate
  • a medical practitioner
  • a mental health clinician
  • a guardian, medical agent, relative, carer or friend of the person
  • any other person who can satisfy SACAT that he or she has a proper interest in the person’s welfare

An application can be made to SACAT for a Review of a SACAT decision (Internal Review) regarding a Level 2 Community treatment order.