Past Issues

Future Directions for Research in the 2007 Edition of the Mental Health Act Amendments

Frank Huang-Chih Chou

In 1990, the Mental Health Act was issued
and implemented in Taiwan. In 2000 and 2002,
there were minor changes to the act. In 2005, the
Department of Health substantially revised the
mental health laws. Following those revisions,
there were seven chapters with 63 articles in the
2007 edition of the Mental Health Act Amendments
(The 2007 Amendments).
A summary of the contents of these amendments
yields many key points that may provide directions
for future research, including the following:
(A) Articles 1, 13, 18, and 20: covering patients
protection, patient-centered holistic medical treatment,
and treatment of physical co-morbidity in
patients with mental illness; (B) Articles 15, 41,
42, 45, and 46: A change in the review system.
Previously, only two psychiatrists were needed to
decide for forced hospitalization of serious mental
illness (SMI) patients, and the need to evaluate the
effectiveness of compulsory community treatment.
But in the 2007 Amendments, only a review committee
(Psychiatric Disease Mandatory Assessment
and Community Care Review Committee) is needed
to make these judgments under two psychiatrist’
suggestions. Those changes were due to a revisions
in the decision rights of SMI patients (including
schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders, and
bipolar affective disorder, etc.) who were mandatorily
hospitalized; and (C) Article 8: This health
policy clarifi es which employment, school, medical
service and long-term care services are offered
for patients with mental illness by multidiscipline
authorities other than the healthcare administration,
and it encourages/strengthens the establishment
of community rehabilitation agencies. Thus,
an interesting issue to investigate is how to assess
the effectiveness of psychiatric rehabilitation of
mentally ill (MI) patients.
Key Word
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