The number of emergency mental health assessments carried out at Canberra health facilities has nearly doubled in the past two years.
ACT Health's most recent annual report showed 2470 emergency apprehensions were made during 2019-2020, compared with 1271 just two years before.
Emergency apprehensions are only conducted with someone experiencing a mental health emergency, where patients are taken to a mental health facility such as Canberra Hospital for an assessment to decide if further treatment or care is needed.
Of the emergency apprehensions made in the past financial year, almost 60 per cent were conducted by authorised ambulance paramedics, while a quarter were conducted by police and 10 per cent by mental health officers.
In the past year alone, the number of emergency apprehensions of those in a mental health emergency increased by 20 per cent.
In her submission to the annual report, ACT chief psychiatrist Dr Denise Riordan said the rise in emergency apprehensions did not come as a surprise.
"The increase in apprehensions is consistent with the increase in mental health presentations observed in the overall population," Dr Riordan said.
"It is anticipated that the expansion of the Police, Ambulance and Clinician Early Response program will reduce the number of people transported under an emergency apprehension.
"This integrated service model offers a clinician coordinated response, in collaboration with police officers and paramedics, which means that many people receive appropriate support in their home or are transported voluntarily to hospital."
It comes after ACT Health reported earlier this year that the directorate had seen an increase in patients presenting for emergency mental health treatment since the start of COVID-19.
Prior to the pandemic, government data had shown the ACT had the longest median wait time for mental health patients of any state or territory.
Dr Riordan said recent amendments to the ACT's Mental Health Act said those experiencing mental health emergencies and who were seeking assistance voluntarily will be transported to mental health facilities as voluntary clients, rather than in a forced capacity.
"It is anticipated these initiatives will lead to a reduction in the number of emergency apprehensions," Dr Riordan said.
Figures have also revealed the number of mental health patients who required an emergency detention for up to three days rose by almost 20 per cent in the past financial year.
There were 1264 emergency detentions during 2019-20 compared to a little more than 1000 the year before.
The number of three-day emergency detentions being extended for a further 11 days following an application to the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal rose from 499 in 2018-19 to 535 in 2019-20.
However, Dr Riordan said there was some promising signs among the data on emergency detentions.
"Only 42.3 per cent of the people place on an emergency detention required further involuntary treatment, care or support via an emergency detention extension," Dr Riordan said.
"This demonstrates that a very short period of treatment, care and support is often sufficient to stabilise a person so they can continue receiving care in their community of choice."
More orders were also received authorising electroconvulsive therapy in the ACT, which rose by 17 per cent compared to the previous year, with 41 orders being made.