Mental Health Act examinations – What is the Mental Health Act?

Ontario’s Mental Health Act, like the Criminal Code, gives courts certain powers to have an accused person sent to a hospital for a psychiatric examination. It also gives police officers and doctors certain powers to have someone sent for a psychiatric assessment.

At the same time, the Mental Health Act protects the rights of persons with mental health issues who are in a psychiatric facility. Judges can sometimes use the Mental Health Act instead of the Criminal Code to order an accused person to a psychiatric facility for an examination by a doctor.