Card in the clinical contect
The “Know Your Rights under BC’s Mental Health Act” wallet card has the certification criteria and basic rights information. It also has places on the back to record:
- contact information for a patient’s psychiatrist or mental health team,
- contact information for the patient’s near relative, and
- the date the patient’s current certification is due to expire.
The card was made to be given to certified patients when they leave the hospital, either on discharge or on extended leave. People can then carry the card on their person as a reminder of their rights.
Mental health teams and clubhouses in the community may also choose to make these cards available.
Some previous patients have said that they prefer the card to the pamphlet, so the card could also be offered to patients when they are first receiving rights information in the hospital.
Card for viewing and printing
View the card (click to enlarge):
Hard copies of the card
Our project funding has allowed us to print a small quantity of the card, 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.
The text of the card 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 card text]
Know your rights under BC’s Mental Health Act
[Bottom flap of the card]
Criteria for certification
You can be certified 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.
- [Interior of the card]
If you’re certified, you may be kept in the hospital and given treatment against your will. But you still have the right:
• to know where you are and why you’re 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 criteria (see bottom flap).
• to ask for a review panel hearing
An independent panel will hear your case and decide if you meet the criteria. To apply, fill out Form 7. For representation at your hearing, call the Mental Health Law Program:
604-685-3425 in the Lower Mainland
1-888-685-6222 elsewhere in BC
• to ask for a second medical opinion
If you don’t agree with your psychiatric treatment, you can ask another doctor to examine you. To apply, fill out Form 11.
• 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
You have all of these rights on extended leave.
To learn more about your rights, talk to your mental health team or read Form 13. Find forms 7, 11, and 13 at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/health-forms/mental-health-forms
If you have complaints about your care, contact the Office of the Ombudsperson at 1-800-567-3247 or bcombudsperson.ca.
[Back of the card]
Mental health team or psychiatrist; Phone number
Near relative (person you trust); Phone number
Your certification period expires:
[End of card text]
- full colour
- 3″ wide × 2″ tall when folded
- 3″ wide × 6″ tall when unfolded