[UPDATE (JULY 2023): The rights materials on this site are out of date. Please read our blog post to learn more.]
Large poster in the clinical context
The large “Your Rights under BC’s Mental Health Act” poster has the certification criteria and basic rights information.
According to the Mental Health Regulation, Forms 13 and 14 must be “posted in a conspicuous place that is accessible to patients in the designated facility.”
This poster can be posted in the psychiatric units in the same place or near an accessible phone. The poster refers patients to the pamphlet for further information, and hospitals may want to have pamphlets readily available when patients ask for them.
The idea for the large poster came from previous patients who said that the lack of other reading materials during their hospitalization prompted them to read what was posted on the walls. This poster was designed to have enough information to inform patients but also be easier to read than Form 13 when posted.
Large poster for viewing and printing
Download a PDF of the large poster:
View the large poster (click to enlarge):
Hard copies of the large poster
Our project funding has allowed us to print a small quantity of the poster, which we can send to hospitals and mental health teams on a first come, first served basis for the cost of shipping. Please contact us for details.
Once the first printing runs out, we can still print on your behalf but will invoice for both printing and shipping costs.
Instead, we encourage you to send the print-ready digital file above to a local commercial printer and order the quantity that you need.
Large poster text
The text of the large poster is given here so that it can be read by screen readers like VoiceOver (Mac) or JAWS or NVDA (PC). Screen readers help people with print disabilities, language learners, and people who may prefer hearing the text rather than reading it.
[Beginning of poster text]
Your rights under BC’s Mental Health Act
Under BC’s Mental Health Act…
…you can be certified as an involuntary patient only if a doctor has examined you and believes you meet all four of these criteria:
1. your ability to react to your environment and associate with others is seriously impaired because of a mental disorder,
2. you need psychiatric treatment,
3. you need care, supervision, and control to protect you or others or to prevent you from deteriorating substantially, either mentally or physically, and
4. you can’t be admitted as a voluntary patient.
If you’ve been certified, you can’t leave the hospital without your doctor’s permission, and you can’t refuse psychiatric treatment, including medication — but you don’t lose all your rights.
You have the right…
…to know where you are
Ask a nurse for the name and address of the hospital.
…to know why you’ve been certified
The reasons for your certification are on your certificate (Form 4) or renewal certificate (Form 6), which you have the right to see.
…to be examined by a doctor
At least once per certification period, a doctor must examine you to see if you meet the certification criteria. If the doctor believes you no longer meet the criteria, you will be decertified.
…to ask for a review panel hearing
An independent panel will hear your case and decide if you meet the certification criteria. To apply, fill out Form 7. For free representation (a lawyer or advocate) at your hearing, call the Mental Health Law Program:
604-685-3425 in the Lower Mainland
1-888-685-6222 elsewhere in BC
10 am–noon & 1:30 pm–4:30 pm, Monday to Friday
…to ask for a second medical opinion
If you don’t agree with your psychiatric treatment, you can ask for another doctor to examine you. Fill out Form 11 to ask for a second opinion.
…to speak with a lawyer
A lawyer can give you legal advice about certification or can ask a judge to review your case. For 30 minutes of free legal advice over the phone, make an appointment with Access Pro Bono:
604-482-3195 ext. 1500 in the Lower Mainland
1-877-762-6664 ext. 1500 elsewhere in BC
10 am–4 pm, Monday to Friday
When you leave the hospital…
- • be discharged and be completely free to go, or
- • be placed on extended leave.
On extended leave, you can live out in the community but will still be certified and will have to follow conditions, like visiting a mental health team and taking psychiatric medications.
You have the same rights on extended leave as you do in the hospital, including the right to ask for a review panel hearing.
To learn more about your rights…
…ask a nurse for a copy of Form 13 or a “Your Rights under BC’s Mental Health Act” pamphlet, which has more details about each of these rights.
[End of poster text]
- full colour
- 17″ wide × 11″ tall