On Jan. 19, 2021, B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth published a scathing report on the rights of children and youth under the Mental Health Act. Their webpage provides links to a press release and the full report. In the press release, Dr. Jennifer Charlesworth, British Columbia’s Representative for Children and Youth, stated “The problems with involuntary detention of youth are myriad. Although the objective of mental health detention is to keep young people safe, it is a powerful tool that is not always protective or therapeutic. Of the young people we heard from, detention was largely experienced as one more trauma on a trail of traumas – and this is not acceptable.”
“The bottom line is that the Mental Health Act was not designed with the needs of children and youth in mind and is not meeting the needs of young people in this province. Of the young people we heard from, more than half disagreed with their treatment. Generally, they were looking for therapeutic support but found that, instead of that, what they received was forced medication.”
You can find the links to the press release and report here.