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Ministry of Health

Mental Health Act

British Columbia's Mental Health Act has important implications for individuals requiring involuntary treatment or receiving voluntary treatment under the Act, their families and service providers.

Guide to the Mental Health Act: 2005 Edition (PDF 5.1M)

This document provides greater clarity and plain language descriptions of a number of key sections of the Act and includes legislative changes that took effect in April 2005.

Key changes in the 2005 Guide are:

  • Patient Rights Notification Forms 13 and 14 have been rewritten as plain language, consumer friendly documents to help patients understand their rights under the Act.
  • Changes to the Review Panels composition and operation are described in Section 7.2 and Appendix 7, with corresponding changes in Form 7, Application and Review Panel Hearing.
  • Additional information related to Extended Leave has been included in Section 6.0 and Appendix 6.
  • Police Interventions have been rewritten providing clarification of police authority under common law and the Act. These are included in Section 3.2 (Method 2) and Appendix 5. An optional, new Police Triage Guide has been developed by the BC Association of Chiefs of Police and included to assist the police in determining when to apprehend patients under the Act and in providing reports to Emergency Room staff.
  • Guidelines for Physicians clarifying procedures and instructions to facilitate accurate completion of key certificates are included in Section 5.0 and Appendix 4.

Click here for an updated list of designated facilities (PDF 201K) (hospitals and mental health facilities), which admit and treat involuntary patients.

The Mental Health Act forms can be downloaded and copied for use here. Alternatively, all of the forms are located in Appendix 16 of the Guide.