Surveying Canadian Organizations and Officials on Rights in Mental Health


From Mad Canada Shadow Report: “After 3 months of waiting, we found that about 20% [16] of the 81 organizations we asked for public information on rights in mental health services acknowledged our request. Far fewer had anything to say, as you can gather from our response letter (see: ‘2019 Survey Report‘). This indicates a lack of responsiveness and communication on rights in mental health services in Canada. Yet Canada has agreed to abide by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities [CRPD] which seeks to prevent the use of involuntary treatments, committals, restraints and seclusion.

However, in the last week, we have received one response from a patient advocacy organization in New Brunswick that has shared statistics with us, as well as their mandate and other information. They note that in ‘2018-2019, over 2400 persons were detained under examination certificates,’ of which 680 were involuntarily hospitalized, and that 60 persons were subject to ‘Supervised Community Care Orders’ in which a person is obliged to take treatments and follow various directions in order to leave hospital.

This advocacy organization, unlike any other, attempted to respond to all our questions, such as to note that statistics on the use of electroshock, restraints and seclusion might only be available from the Regional Health Authorities. Otherwise, they said that statistics about diagnoses, patients’ responses to treatments, and patients’ requests for other treatments were not available, and we believe that they are not kept in any other organization.

If any of the public organizations that we have approached decide to respond to us we will blog about it here. We do believe talking about rights will help people make better decisions about their use of services, and help them seek remedies they can trust. Canadians should have public information on how Canada treats people with psychosocial disabilities, especially as the UN CRPD seeks to protect people with psychosocial disabilities.”

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