Canadian Mental Health Week: Recommended Sources

In recognition of the upcoming Canadian Mental Health Week May 3rd - 9th, we’d like to highlight a few helpful resources and starting points when trying to find information or support for your patrons who may be struggling with legal problems and mental health. 

Clicklaw Common Questions 

Clicklaw is always a great starting place, and the common questions have a curated set of relevant sources in response to particular questions. They also include referral options to point people towards getting more specialized help with their problem. Check out these CQ’s related to mental health and the law: 

BC-focused Online Sources 

Peoples Law School’s Dial a Law Script: Hospitalizing a mentally ill person 

  • Provides information about what to do if someone asks to be admitted to a mental health facility or what happens if someone is admitted to a hospital against their will, how long an involuntary patient can be kept in hospital or treated without their consent, how to request a review of their hospitalization, and more.  

Law Students Legal Advice Program Manual: Chapter 14 – Mental Health Law (August 2020) 

  • Provides a general overview of governing legislation, resources, legal rights, and legal issues that may arise due to someone experiencing a mental health illness.  

Options for Legal Help  

Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS) 

  • The Mental Health Law Program provides representation to BC residents province-wide who have been detained involuntarily under the Mental Health Act or anyone subject to the Mental Disorder Provision of the Criminal Code of Canada. Information about eligibility requirements can be found on the website, or call their intake line at 604-685-3425 or toll-free 1-855-685-6222. 

  • CLAS also produces a range of self-help guides that you can find on their website, including a Guide to the Mental Health Review Board. This would be useful for anyone preparing to represent themselves at a review board hearing.  

Access Pro Bono Mental Health Program 

  • APB’s Mental Health Program provides 30 minutes of free legal advice over the phone to people detained under the BC Mental Health Act and/or their family members. Their services are province-wide, but income restrictions do apply. You can direct people to call 1-877-762-6664 ext. 1500 or 604-482-3195 ext. 1500.