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Mediators have a responsibility to maximise an individual’s ability to effectively participate in the decision-making process, including supporting procedural fairness where equality and balance in the parties’ contributions to the process is expected. Capacity to participate effectively is affected by the presence of mental health concerns.Various means of screening for psychological distress in mediation participants have been discussed, however, there is limited training available to mediators from non-clinical professions in evaluating mental health issues. An alternative approach is to consider ways in which the mediation process could be modified to enhance an individual’s capacity to effectively participate, especially when the mental disorder is not chronic, stable, or severe, but is a temporary incapacity. This article will consider commonly occurring mental health concerns in Australia and will explore ways in which mediators might seek to support parties effectively under such conditions.
This document has been peer reviewed.