British Columbia Schizophrenia Society Position Statement, Synopsis: BC Government’s Response to the Ombudsperson’s Report

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B.C. Schizophrenia Society Position Statement, Synopsis: BC Government's Response to the Ombudsperson's Report

The British Columbia Schizophrenia (BCSS) is dedicated to upholding the right to health and the legal rights of persons suffering from schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses. These rights can be lost because severe mental illness often robs people of the awareness that they have a harmful but treatable illness. These people often refuse voluntary treatment needed to restore their health and rights. The only alternative for restoring rights is involuntary mental health treatment under the BC Mental Health Act (MHA). The MHA has a number of protections for involuntary patients which require processes and forms to be correctly completed.

The Ombudsperson conducted an investigation in 2017 on the completion of legal forms required by the MHA. His Report outlines many serious deficiencies and makes 24 recommendations.

BCSS commends the Ministry and Health Authorities for already acting on 20 of the 24 recommendations, which will help reach 100% compliance. BCSS believes that these actions alone will meet the requirements of the MHA and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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