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Work in Progress Seminar: Experiences of Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment under the Mental Health Act

June 12 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

British Columbia currently has the highest rate of hospitalization for mental health and substance use issues in Canada, and over the past decade the number of people involuntarily admitted to hospital for psychiatric treatment has steadily increased. In 2019, the BC Ombudsperson made 24 recommendations towards preserving the dignity and rights of individuals who are receiving involuntary treatment, increasing accountability of the health authorities, and increasing compliance with the procedural and documentation requirements stipulated in the Mental Health Act. In response, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Authority and Providence Health Care (PHC) undertook a series of initiatives aimed at addressing these recommendations. These included system-wide efforts to ensure documentation practices conform to legal requirements for the involuntary admissions process under the Mental Health Act, as well as efforts to improve care providers’ and patients’ understandings of the rights of people hospitalized under the Act. At the same time, leaders and advocates within and outside of VCH and PHC recognized that legal administrative compliance with the Mental Health Act alone is not sufficient to understand whether or not both organizations were delivering equity-oriented care which is experienced as safe, trauma-informed, culturally safe, anti-racist, harm reduction oriented, and gender-affirming. In this context, The Centre for Advancing Health Outcomes conducted an independent, participatory, mixed methods evaluation to assess progress toward implementing specific recommendations from the BC Ombudsperson’s report, and to understand the lived experiences of receiving and providing treatment under the Mental Health Act in VCH and PHC designated facilities. This presentation will review key findings from this evaluation.

This research will be presented by :

Beth Snow, PhD, MBA, CE
Program Head — Evaluation, Advancing Health
Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Population & Public Health, UBC

Maja Kolar, RPN, MSN
Director — Legislative Initiatives, Providence Health Care
Adjunct Professor, UBC School of Nursing

Amy Salmon, PhD
Centre Associate Director, Advancing Health
Director, Clinical Faculty Affairs, UBC Faculty of Medicine

This is a hybrid event, you may attend in person at Hurlburt Auditorium (St. Paul’s Hospital) or virtually. Attendees must register and indicate their preference.