BILL NO. 23
1st Session, 64th General Assembly
70 Elizabeth II, 2021
Private Member's Bill
Mental Health Bill of Rights
Halifax Citadel–Sable Island
First Reading: October 19, 2021
WHEREAS mental disorders, episodes of psychological distress and their treatment are an integral and important component of the health-care system;
AND WHEREAS a Mental Health Strategy was adopted by the Department of Health and Wellness in 2012;
AND WHEREAS persons with mental disorders or experiencing episodes of psychological distress are to be treated with dignity and respect;
AND WHEREAS any experience of stigma or delay in diagnosis and treatment is harmful;
THEREFORE be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Mental Health Bill of Rights.
2 Every person with a mental disorder or experiencing episodes of psychological distress is entitled to
(a) be treated with dignity and respect;
(b) have prompt and appropriate access to publicly funded diagnostic resources and treatment;
(c) have timely access to client and family-centred support services;
(d) have access to treatment and support that is appropriate for the person and the person's circumstances; and
(e) have access to an advocate of the person's choice or to a public advocate if the person is unable to chose an advocate.
3 (1) Subject to subsection (2), the Department of Health and Wellness and such other Government departments as applicable shall, by 2025,
(a) provide funding for the treatment of mental disorders or episodes of psychological distress that meets or exceeds the World Health Organization's recommended minimum of 10% of total health care expenditures;
(b) integrate all services associated with mental disorders or episodes of psychological distress, including addiction services, specialized services for youth, mobile services, counselling, emergency room resources, involuntary hospitalization, education, family supports and housing; and
(c) place appropriate services throughout the Province, including social work services.
(2) The money required for the purpose of subsection (1) must be paid out of the money appropriated for that purpose by the Legislature.
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