Last Updated: Sunday 1st October, 2023
In Trinidad and Tobago, The Mental Health Act, Chapter 28:02 (hereinafter called "the Act"), provides a legal framework for safeguarding the rights and well-being of individuals who are incapable of managing their personal affairs due to mental incapacity. The Act refers to these individuals as "patients," who are suffering from or are suspected to be suffering from mental illness or who are mentally subnormal.
A "mentally ill person" is described under the Act as a person with a mind disorder requiring care, supervision, treatment and/or control for his own own well-being or the well-being of others. While a "mentally subnormal person" is described under the Act as someone whose mind hasn't fully developed due to reasons like inherent causes, disease, or injury before turning eighteen. This includes individuals who need care, supervision, treatment, or control for their own safety or the safety of others.