A Practical Guide to Mental Health and the Law in Ontario

​​​​Since 2009, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) has partnered with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) to prepare a guide for frontline mental health care providers. A Practical Guide to Mental Health and the Law aims to provide its readers with a general understanding of mental health law issues in several key areas, such as consent to treatment, involuntary admissions, community treatment orders, the detention and supervision of mentally disordered criminal offenders, along with an overview of the provincial and federal legislation that governs the provision of mental health care in Ontario. 

Currently in its fourth edition, this revised guide includes legislative and case law updates, refreshed content and new resources to assist in preparing for virtual hearings and sets out comprehensive recommendations on the use of restraints. Other substantive updates address hospital – police interactions, the Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA), virtual care, medical assistance in dying for mental health patients and updates to the discharge planning section of the resource.  

The revised edition includes newly added appendices that can be used as stand-alone resources for those providing mental health care. The newly added Appendix E provides practical tips on preparing for and participating in virtual hearings before the Consent and Capacity Board (CCB). This appendix further supports the procedural and substantive information provided in Chapter 5, by offering a quick reference tool for readers appearing before the CCBThis guidance is even more pertinent now as the CCB has indicated that it intends to convene all hearings by either teleconference or videoconference, with plans to increase the use of videoconference in the future. 

The intersection of mental health and the law is becoming ever more complex. A Practical Guide to Mental Health and the Law has been a longstanding supportive resource for mental health care clinicians working within this highly regulated, and at times contentious, area of law. The OHA hopes that the Guide will continue to serve clinicians and health care organizations as they navigate the complex legal framework that supports the provision of mental health care in Ontario. 

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