Message from the Chair
The Mental Health Review Board is an independent quasi-judicial administrative tribunal established under the Mental Health Act.
Our Board provides an extremely important protection under s. 7 of our Charter of Rights and Freedoms: the right of all persons to liberty. It is only when certain criteria are met under the Mental Health Act can that right be taken away. The criteria set out in the Mental Health Act are as follows:
that the person or patient is a person who has a disorder of the mind that requires safe and effective psychiatric treatment and seriously impairs the person's ability to react appropriately to their environment or to associate with others;
that the person or patient requires treatment in or through a designate facility;
that the person or patient requires care, supervision and control in or through a designated facility to prevent their substantial mental or physical deterioration or for the protection of themselves or others; and
that the person or patient cannot suitably be admitted as a voluntary patient.
Members of our Board sit on review panels that conduct hearings to determine if persons detained in or through a designated mental health facility in our province should continue to be detained. Our hearings are comprised of three independent adjudicators: a lawyer, a physician, and a community member. Our hearings are scheduled on short notice. Unless waived by or on behalf of the detained person, hearings must be conducted within 14 or 28 days from receipt of an application for a hearing.
Our Board underwent a transitional period this year as I commenced my appointment as Acting Chair. I am honoured by this appointment and look forward to administering justice in British Columbia that reflects best practices across Canada.
Our Board is committed to providing fair, timely, and respectful hearings that balance legal and medical considerations while protecting individual rights under s. 7 of the Charter. We are making a number of improvements to our Board to ensure that we are fulfilling our mandate and exhibiting the highest standards of administrative justice and public service excellence. Our Board is committed to improving how we deliver our services to a very vulnerable population in our province. We are making a number of improvements and undertaking a number of initiatives. Our Board is committed to providing fair and impartial hearings, treating all with respect, courtesy and dignity. I look forward to the years ahead.
Mental Health Review Board