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There are resources and supports services available to help you determine how and when to seek professional help for yourself, for a friend, or family member with a mental health issue. It's also important to know your rights under The Mental Health Services Act.
In general, it is a good idea to seek professional help for a mental health problem when:
Get help and support for mental health issues:
The University of Regina offers free Online Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for adults for a number of mental health concerns. You can learn more on their Online Therapy Unit website or by phone at 306-337-3331.
Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says people must be treated as equal. That means no one is allowed to discriminate against you for any reason, including a mental disability.
Any person may ask for and receive mental health services in Saskatchewan.
If you ask for services:
If you cannot understand what this means your nearest relative may explain this for you, or if you have appointed someone else in a health care directive, or applied to a judge to name someone else, that person may give permission.
If you are a voluntary inpatient and wish to leave treatment, a nurse can require you to stay for up to three hours for a doctor's examination if the nurse thinks it is necessary.
Perhaps you need care and treatment for your mental health, but you are unable or unwilling to ask for help. Under exceptional circumstances, the Mental Health Services Act allows for you to receive care and treatment without your consent. The Act also protects your rights when you are unable or unwilling to ask for help.
A person may be ordered to be examined by a psychiatrist.
This can happen in the following ways:
Other special circumstances:
The examination must be done promptly.
You have the right to:
A voluntary patient can be detained for up to three hours if:
The three hour hold does not give the nurse the authority to prescribe medications or treat the patient with medications without a doctor's order.
You may be admitted to a mental health unit in a hospital and held there against your will.
This can happen in three ways:
To be held under medical certificates, two different certificates are signed by two different doctors. At least one doctor must be a psychiatrist and one can be a resident in psychiatry.
Both doctors must certify the following:
In an emergency you may be held under one medical certificate for up to three days. Where two doctors have written medical certificates, you may be held for up to 21 days.
If your doctor believes you need to stay longer, two more medical certificates may be written to make you stay up to another 21 days.
If you are asking for treatment and care, you cannot be treated without permission. If your mental illness keeps you from understanding and you won't give permission, you may be treated without your permission in the following situations:
There are rules that must be followed when you are treated without your consent:
Your psychiatrist may place you under a Community Treatment Order (CTO).
This can only happen if:
If a second doctor examines you and supports the CTO written by your psychiatrist, a CTO is issued for up to six months and can be renewed by one doctor for six month periods. You must comply with the order. You must then follow prescribed medical treatment and attend appointments with your psychiatrist or case manager.
When a certificate is issued on you and you are treated against your will, you have the right to special protection under The Mental Health Services Act.
Official representatives are usually lawyers with expertise in the mental health field. They have been appointed to help people who have been detained under The Mental Health Services Act understand their rights.
An official representative:
You may ask to speak with an official representative at any time.
Each health region has a review panel to investigate appeals. There are three people on the panel. The chairperson is a lawyer, the vice chairperson is a doctor, and the third person is a citizen. There is no charge for official representative or review panel services.
You have the right to:
The review panel can over-rule decisions which have been made.
This includes decisions to:
The review panel has three business days to give you its decision.
If you do not agree with a decision made by the review panel on any matter except ECT, you have the right to appeal to the Court of King's Bench.
All information about your diagnosis and treatment is confidential.
Information will only be released:
You have a right to information about yourself. It may be kept from you only if it will hurt you or another person. In case of dispute, you may appeal to the Privacy Commissioner for an order to release the information.
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