Re: “B.C. mental-health gap leaves families desperate: experts,” Feb. 7.
I believe that the B.C. government needs to conduct audits on who is being treated and who is being refused treatment under the Mental Health Act.
Police in B.C. (including Victoria police) are not required by law to provide written objective MHA incident reports to medical staff explaining why police felt the need to apprehend the citizen in question in the first place. Mental-health acts in Alberta and the Yukon require police to provide medical staff with written MHA incident reports during MHA detentions. There could be misunderstandings between police and medical staff regarding citizens detained under the B.C. MHA. There needs to be a clear, written incident report that police fill out and copy to medical staff to ensure that detained citizens (proposed patients) at risk get the help they need, and that capable citizens are not detained and treated because they refuse to meet with psychiatrist because they want their Charter right to call a lawyer first.
Medical staff are so busy multi-tasking they don’t need to be second-guessing why police bring detainees to them for an MHA assessment.
Gordon W. Stewart,
President, Pacific South Western Advocates
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