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12 January 2024

The Office of the Chief Psychiatrist has developed the Chief Psychiatrist’s Standard – Sexual Safety in Mental Health Services, as a strategy to address sexual and gender-based violence in mental health settings.

Mental health services have a clinical responsibility and legal obligation to prevent trauma or abuse from occurring, assist people receiving mental health care to feel safe, and facilitate the person’s recovery journey.

The Standard describes expectations in relation to the creation and maintenance of sexually safe and gender sensitive environments for the delivery of mental health services in South Australia, namely, those locations where a person with a mental illness may be assessed and treated in a health setting under the Mental Health Act 2009, including hospital inpatient or community mental health settings.

The Standard was completed with two (2) rounds of broad consultation in April and November 2023. Feedback was received from consumers and carers, relevant national bodies, and the sector in general. We are grateful for all who contributed to its development. The Standard will be subject to review at 3 yearly intervals however updated versions can be completed in between if required. Any further feedback can be sent to health.ocpsafetyquality@sa.gov.au.

As this is now published and promulgated, services will be expected to work towards compliance by 01 May 2024.