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The Chief Psychiatrist is an independent statutory officer who holds powers, functions and responsibilities as prescribed by the Mental Health Act 2009.  The Chief Psychiatrist’s functions are:

  • Promoting continuous improvement in the organisation and delivery of mental health services
  • Monitoring the treatment of voluntary and involuntary patients and the use of restrictive practices
  • Monitoring the administration of the Act and the standard of mental health care
  • Advising the Minister on issues relating to mental health and any concerns about care or treatment of patients in South Australia.

The Chief Psychiatrist has governance and oversight responsibility for monitoring and influencing mental health care for the community and can issue standards for the care or treatment of patients as well as visit and inspect public and private hospitals’ premises.

The Chief Psychiatrist reports to the Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse and to the Deputy Chief Executive, Finance and Corporate Services, SA Health.

The Chief Psychiatrist is supported by a team of people who assist him in meeting his statutory responsibilities whilst ensuring the rights of people with lived experience of mental illness are upheld. 

The Chief Psychiatrist produces an Annual Report for the Parliament.

The current Chief Psychiatrist of South Australia is Dr Brian McKenny.

For advice on the administration of the Act

Call 8226 1091 or email:  HealthOCP@sa.gov.au