There are four forms under the Mental Health Act that you need to know about if you or a loved one is dealing with a mental health issue in Canada. The following article outlines the regulations for Form 1 and Form 2. They are the ones you’ll likely encounter and will need to understand.
Mental health laws in Canada – Form 1 and Form 2 overview:
Form 1: A Form 1 is also known as an APA (Application for Psychiatric Assessment). It’s called into effect when a doctor or a law enforcement agent legally suspends the rights of an individual. They are placed under a psychiatric hold for 7 days.
Under a Form 1, a person must enter into hospital for a formal psychological assessment for 72 hours anytime within the 7 day suspension period. The individual is only allowed to leave when they are deemed mentally stable by a qualified physician (a Psychiatrist or Doctor). The ruling doctor must make the decision within 72 hours.
The Form 1 does not give law enforcement officials the legal right to detain an individual in jail or a facility that is not a hospital specializing in psychiatric treatment.
When the Form 1 is up the patient will either: 1) Be admitted to treatment facility, or 2) Be deemed fit and will become a voluntary patient.
Form 2: The Form 2 is the most valuable for family members and friends. Anyone can sign a Form 2 if they are concerned that an individual they’ve been in contact with should be sanctioned under a Form 1. The Form 2 demands a psychiatric assessment for a person who is in imminent danger (mental health crisis) or there is potential for self-harm.
When a Form 2 is filled out it can be taken to a law enforcement agency. At that time, a police officer is able to make the judgment call to put the individual under a Form 1.
Here is a link to the Form 2: http://ocfp.on.ca/docs/collaborative-mental-health-care-network/a-blank-copy-of-a-form-2.pdf