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Common Questions

What rights do people have around treatment for mental illness?

Last reviewed in April 2023 by the Clicklaw Editors

Anyone who wants psychiatric help can ask to be admitted to hospital for treatment. In some situations, the BC Mental Health Act also allows authorities (such as a doctor or the court) to send people to the hospital even if they don’t want to go (involuntarily).

Good starting points to learn more about involuntary admission and the rights people have around treatment for mental illness include:

Need more help?

  • Mental Health Law Program, from Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS), gives legal advice and representation to people who are involuntarily detained under the BC Mental Health Act or who have custody or conditional discharge orders pursuant to the mental disorder provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada. Check their restrictions to see if you qualify.
  • Mental Health Program Telephone Clinic, from Access Pro Bono Society of BC, provides individuals certified under the Mental Health Act and their relatives with free summary legal advice over the phone 

See our related common questions:

mental health, consent to medical care, medical treatment, involuntary patient, patient's rights, mental disorder