How do I get into and complete mental health diversion?

3. Complete an intake with the mental health court worker

In some courthouses, if the Crown offers you mental health diversion and you agree, you must meet with a mental health worker before you can start your diversion program.

Meeting the mental health worker

You may have to make an appointment to meet the mental health worker. At other courthouses, you may be able to drop in and have a meeting right away. At some courthouses, there is no mental health worker.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the mental health workers may be working remotely and you may not be able to enter court. You can ask your lawyer or how you can contact the mental health worker.

At your meeting, the mental health worker will ask for your contact information, background information, and medical history. This is called an intake meeting. This will help the worker to decide what community supports are good for you.

During or after the meeting, the mental health office may assign a specific mental health worker to your case.

Creating your mental health diversion plan

The mental health worker can help you develop a mental health diversion plan. If there is no mental health worker in your courthouse, then the Crown and your lawyer can help you develop a diversion plan. Your plan might include:

  • getting a doctor if you don't have one
  • getting a case manager or social worker to advocate for you and help you access services
  • the mental health worker or a support person helping you apply for supportive housing, or for income assistance from the government
  • participating in therapy or skills training
  • completing volunteer work or writing an apology letter

You should follow the suggestions and referrals in the plan to make sure you can complete your diversion as soon as possible.

If you already have support from a health care provider like a doctor, therapist or social worker, the mental health court worker might not need to make a plan with you. Instead, the court worker can check directly with your provider to make sure you're meeting with them regularly and following their direction.

You cannot be forced to take medication in the diversion program. But if your doctor recommends medication for you and you don't take it, then the mental health worker may not let you participate in mental health diversion.

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