Mental health recovery and voting: why being treated as a citizen matters and how we can do it.

Sharon Lawn, John McMillan, Z Comley, Ann Smith, John Brayley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    A central feature of recovery-based practice for people with mental illness is that they are able to exercise rights and experience membership of a community. This notion of citizenship is especially important when someone has had rights removed after being committed under mental health legislation. The right to vote is a central marker of citizenship. Supporting a person's right to vote is important for recovery-based practice. In this paper, we review the issue of voting for people who have been committed under mental health legislation, why it matters for recovery, and what occurs from the Australian and international perspective. We briefly review the concepts of capacity and supported decision making in the context of the right to vote. We also consider the usefulness of the American 'Doe Standard', which has been used with the Competency Assessment Tool (CAT-V), to determine capacity to vote. Some solutions are offered that would protect the interest that Australians with mental illnesses have in voting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)289-295
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - May 2014


    • Capacity
    • Human rights
    • Involuntary patients
    • Mental health
    • Recovery
    • Voting


    Dive into the research topics of 'Mental health recovery and voting: why being treated as a citizen matters and how we can do it.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this