New Mental Health Act video for youth in BC

Promotional poster for the youth video. The video's main character is shown, along with questions "Why do you need to be here?" "Do you have a say?" "What do you tell your friends?" The poster says that the video is available at bcyouthmentalhealthact.ca.

BC Children’s Hospital has launched an interactive video to help youth and their families better understand what it means to be certified under the Mental Health Act. The video explains:

  • what the Mental Health Act is,
  • what the criteria are for involuntary hospitalization,
  • what rights a young involuntary patient has under the Mental Health Act,
  • how long a young patient might stay in hospital,
  • what happens after decertification,
  • what roles various healthcare providers play in the young patient’s care and treatment, and
  • how a young patient can participate in their own recovery by expressing their opinions and asking their treatment team questions.

The animated video is around 12 minutes long but is divided into several sections so that viewers can pause and take in the information in one section before moving on to the next. A video index helps viewers navigate between sections, allowing them to repeat sections or skip sections they don’t need to see. At the end of each section is a screen where viewers can click on icons to get more information about a specific point introduced in that section.

Angela Olsen, who led the project at BC Children’s Hospital, encourages any clinicians in BC who work with youth certified under the Mental Health Act to begin using this video. She emphasizes that “This video is not intended to replace a discussion between a service provider and a patient about certification. Rather, it is meant to support this conversation and present all essential information in a clear and patient-centred manner.”

A working group that included psychiatrists, nurses, social workers, and a patient and family engagement advisor helped steer the video content, which was user tested with youth and families and revised based on their feedback.

For more information about this Mental Health Act video for youth, contact Angela Olsen at aolsen[at]cw.bc.ca.

Disclosure: Although this video isn’t formally affiliated with the Mental Health Act Rights Advice (MHARA) research team that created the rights materials available on this site, Iva Cheung, coordinator of the MHARA research team, was an advisor to the working group for this project.

One Reply to “New Mental Health Act video for youth in BC”

  1. I think people concerned about the well-being of involuntarily treated psychotic patients should understand the perspectives of CLAS; CLAS is the legal organization that will be advising patients in the new plan put forth by the BC Ombudsperson. CLAS actively opposes any inpatient or outpatient involuntary treatment as they view this as a violation of human rights. And, as I point out in the article below, they seem to be lacking an understanding of the vast research demonstrating the value of anti-psychotic medications:

    https://dawsonross.wordpress.com/2019/04/10/involuntary-treatment-and-british-columbia/

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