The government will consider changing the mental health act after a huge jump in emergency detentions by ACT paramedics.
The more than fourfold increase in one year of emergency apprehensions made by ACT Ambulance members has been largely unexplained.
Mental Health Minister Shane Rattenbury says he has asked the chief psychiatrist and Emergency Services Commissioner to immediately examine the spike and how it can be addressed.
Canberra Health Services is considering whether the mental health act needs reform.
Latest government figures contained in the chief psychiatrist's annual report show there was a 60 per cent increase in emergency apprehensions of mental health patients.
In 2018-19, there were 2059 emergency apprehensions of mental health patients up on the previous year's figures of 1271.
Of the 2059 apprehensions, 1171 were by paramedics.
Laws in the ACT changed in March 2016 giving paramedics emergency detention powers in line with other jurisdictions.
They aim to provide more dignity and less restrictive treatment to mental health patients by moving the transport to hospital from police to health care providers.
For the first two full years the laws were in place, paramedics apprehended 171 and 273 people respectively, before the spike in 2018-19.
All other professions recorded a decrease in emergency detentions in 2018-19.
Police officers, paramedics, mental health officers and doctors can detain a mental health patient and bring them to Canberra Hospital's emergency department to prevent serious and imminent harm to them or others.
A Canberra Health Services spokeswoman said they were working closing with ACT Ambulance service to make sure the system was appropriately responding to the needs of mental health consumers, and that demand was managed in the most clinically appropriate way.
She said the service, along with the health directorate and the chief psychiatrist, was investigating possible reforms to ensure the act was invoked appropriately.
"This will also consider whether any policy or legislative adjustments are needed," she said.
"We will also be engaging with our mental health stakeholders as part of these considerations.
An Emergency Services Agency spokeswoman said the agency was aware of increasing emergency detentions being used by paramedics.
She said the increase reflected changes to legislation in 2016 and in the way Ambulance ACT worked with police.
But it was not clear from the response why the sharp increase happened more than two years after the new laws came into effect.
"ACT Ambulance Service paramedics ensure the wellbeing and dignity of patients is at the forefront when responding to an incident," she said.
"All mental health clients seen by police and paramedics, who meet the relevant criteria under the Mental Health Act, undergo a comprehensive mental health assessment to determine whether an emergency apprehension order is required to transport them to an approved mental health facility."
ACT Health said it was working to set up the police, ambulance and clinician early response model of care.
It will see police, paramedics and mental health clinicians come together to treat people experiencing acute mental health episodes.
It is designed to reduce emergency department presentations.