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Third Session, Thirty-Ninth Legislature

This version is based on the printed bill that was distributed in the Legislature after First Reading.   It is not the official version.   If accuracy is critical, you can obtain a copy of the printed bill from Statutory Publications or view the online bilingual version (PDF).

Bill 230

THE MENTAL HEALTH BILL OF RIGHTS


Table of Contents Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

WHEREAS people who have mental health disorders deserve to be treated with compassion, dignity and respect at all times;

AND WHEREAS a mental disorder is an illness, not a criminal offence;

AND WHEREAS those with a mental illness have a right to have the support received from their family and friends recognized;

AND WHEREAS one of the most serious consequences of a mental illness can be a progression to suicidal thoughts and even to suicide;

AND WHEREAS it is imperative that people with mental illnesses receive services quickly,  that their release from an institution such as a hospital be adequately planned, and that adequate support be available for them in the community on discharge;

AND WHEREAS a child with a mental illness, or the child of a parent with a mental illness, is more likely to be placed in foster care;

AND WHEREAS it is desirable to keep families together;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Definition

1           In this Act, "mental illness" means a mental disorder as defined in The Mental Health Act, and includes

(a) Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder;

(b) alcohol and drug addiction;

(c) Alzheimer's disease;

(d) personality disorder; and

(e) brain injury.

Mental health rights

2(1)        A person in Manitoba who has a mental illness has the following rights:

(a) generally, the right to be treated

(i) with compassion, respect, understanding and dignity in all circumstances, and

(ii) equitably in relation to those with physical health issues in regard to public services;

(b) in the community, the right to

(i) full and equal access to social, recreational and employment programs that are open to others,

(ii) adequate housing,

(iii) a supportive environment that considers the optimum lifestyle factors for persons with mental illness and for the prevention of mental illness, and

(iv) information about the beneficial effects of lifestyle choices, including, where appropriate, sunlight, exercise and dietary factors such as vitamins and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids which may have beneficial effects in reducing or preventing illness;

(c) in respect of advocacy on the person's behalf, the right to have

(i) an advocate of his or her own choice,

(ii) the advocate, and the person's circle of friends, to be informed and to be able to advocate on his or her behalf, to the extent that he or she desires, and

(iii) a public advocate when the person is unable to chose an advocate for himself or herself;

(d) the right to have a mental health care directive prepared and kept up to date;

(e) in respect to diagnoses and treatment, the right to receive

(i) timely access to optimum health care, including urgent support for those who may be suicidal,

(ii) a second opinion, when one is requested, and

(iii) affordable access to pharmaceutical treatment, where appropriate;

(f) when discharged from an institution, the right to have

(i) a plan that meets his or her needs, and

(ii) the provisions within the plan to be adequately supported;

(g) when in contact with the justice system, the right

(i) to be treated with understanding and respect, and

(ii) to have his or her mental illness considered in the provision of legal and justice services.

Parents' rights

2(2)        A parent of a child who has a mental illness has the right, while the child is less than 16 years old, to be fully informed at all times of the child's health issues.

Remedy

3(1)        A person who believes his or her rights have been infringed or denied may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to obtain any remedy that the court considers appropriate and just in the circumstances.

Standing of mental health organizations

3(2)        In any proceeding before a court under subsection (1), on application of the organization, the following have the right and standing to appear as a party with full rights to participate, including the right of appeal, in the proceeding:

(a) Canadian Mental Health Association;

(b) Epilepsy and Seizure Association of Manitoba;

(c) Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba;

(d) Autism Society Manitoba;

(e) Asperger Manitoba Inc.;

(f) Manitoba Schizophrenia Society;

(g) Addictions Foundation of Manitoba;

(h) Anxiety Disorders Association of Manitoba.

C.C.S.M. reference

4           This Act may be referred to as chapter M113 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

5           This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

This Bill establishes mental health rights for all Manitobans.