News release

Province Initiates Independent Review of Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act

HEALTH/WELLNESS--Province Initiates Independent Review of Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act

  • --------------------------------------------------------------Nova Scotians living with mental illness will receive better health care and treatment after a review of the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act.

Independent reviewers will report back to the province with recommendations on improving the act.

"We understand that Nova Scotians want better mental health care services. To help us achieve that, we need to understand where we can improve this important act," said David Wilson, Minister of Health and Wellness. "That is why the province has started an independent review to examine this key piece of legislation, and to ensure we have the best model in place to support the needs and health of Nova Scotians."

The review will be chaired by Justice Gerard La Forest, retired member of the Supreme Court of Canada, and William Lahey, professor at Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. They will provide arms-length, independent recommendations to help the province strengthen the act.

"Our goals for this review are to determine whether the act needs revisions, if it is effectively meeting the objectives it should be, and whether amendments should be made to improve and strengthen it, for the well-being of the patients it serves," said Mr. La Forest.

The independent reviewers will consult with key people in the district health authorities, mental health organizations and communities across the province. Information on consultations will be available soon.

"We will review all the material available to us, and listen to the ideas and experiences of stakeholders across Nova Scotia. The information we gather will help us make recommendations that will ultimately strengthen the act, and help the patients in the province," said Mr. Lahey.

The Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act helps Nova Scotians who are unable to make treatment decisions because of severe mental illness, or who are at risk of harm or harming others, receive the appropriate treatment. The act has been in place since 2007. An interim report is expected this winter. The final report is expected to be completed in summer 2013.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotians living with mental illness will receive better health care and treatment following a review of the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act.

Independent reviewers will report back to the province with recommendations on improving the legislation.

Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson says that he understands that Nova Scotians want better mental health care services, and to help achieve that, government needs to understand how to improve the act.

The review will be chaired by Justice Gerard La Forest, retired member of the Supreme Court of Canada, and William Lahey, professor at Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. The reviewers will provide arms-length, independent recommendations to help the province strengthen the act.

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Media Contact:

Patricia Jreige
Health and Wellness 902-424-2727 E-mail: