Mental Health Law

Rights of psychiatric patients in Ireland

The Mental Health Act 2001 has been fully implemented since 1 November 2006. This provides for, among other things, new rules about admission to psychiatric hospitals and new rules about the rights of psychiatric patients.

If you are involuntarily admitted to an approved psychiatric centre, you are entitled to:

  • Have all decisions made in your best interests
  • Be examined by a psychiatrist in the centre
  • Be provided with certain information
  • Have your retention reviewed by a tribunal
  • Appeal to the Courts in certain circumstances

There are specific rules about psychiatric and their consent to treatment.

Existing patients:
People who are involuntarily detained under the Mental Treatment Act 1945 are considered to be involuntarily detained under the 2001 Act from 1 November 2006. Their detention must be reviewed by mental health tribunals in the same way as new patients.

“This is a brief note to thank you and your colleagues for your professionalism and concern for my welfare while I have been your client.”


“Thank you in particular for being so conscientious as to accept my calls outside of office hours, when I felt I needed to talk to you. I admire you for going the extra mile!”

E.B.T., Dublin