Lawmakers approve Mental Health Act amendments
Lawmakers have passed amendments to the Mental Health Act, which requires court approval for mandatory hospitalization for at-risk individuals. Under the revised rules, only judges will be permitted to grant a mandatory hospitalization order.
Their judgement will be based on a court hearing involving psychiatrists, and representatives of patients' rights groups using a lay assessor system. The duration of mandatory hospitalizations will generally be limited to 60 days.
The amendments include provisions to extend mental health services to all "people" living in Taiwan - meaning they will also cover foreign nationals and they also set out plans to establish community mental health facilities and diversify resources.
The amendments are part of government plans to overhaul mental health provision, including the establishment of a multiagency national mental health command center.