Can I be forced to stay in a psychiatric facility?

5. Get legal help

As a you have the right to speak to a lawyer.

Rights Advisers

If you become an in a , you have the right to talk to a Rights Adviser about your situation. A Rights Adviser is someone who knows what the law says about mental health care.

A Rights Adviser comes to you as soon as possible after you become an involuntary patient in the facility. The Rights Adviser will explain how your legal status has changed. They will explain what your rights are. They can answer your questions about the mental health system and tell you what your legal options are.

A Rights Adviser isn’t a lawyer, but they can help you apply to the Consent and Capacity Board (CCB) and help you contact a lawyer. If you need help paying for a lawyer, the Rights Adviser can complete an application for legal aid. A Rights Adviser is there to help you. They are not there to help the doctors or the facility.

If you’re a patient in a psychiatric facility and need help finding a Rights Adviser, you can contact the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office at 1-800-578-2343.

Justice for Children and Youth

If you’re under the age of 18, you can contact Justice for Children and Youth at 1-866-999-5329 to speak with a youth rights lawyer.

Legal Aid Ontario

If you have a low income, you may be able to get help from Legal Aid Ontario and get a . You can reach Legal Aid Ontario at 1-800-668-8258.

Law Society Referral Service

The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has a Law Society Referral Service. This online service gives you the name of a lawyer in your area who can talk to you for up to 30 minutes for free. You can ask for a lawyer who speaks your language, or a lawyer who accepts legal aid certificates.

If you cannot use the online service, you can call the Law Society of Ontario crisis line at 1-855-947-5255 or 416-947-5255 in Toronto. For example, you can call this number if you’re being and don’t have access to the internet. The crisis line is available from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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