Apply for a Hearing
It may be challenging to figure out how to apply for a hearing at the Mental Health Review Board. The information on this page is intended to provide you with the information you need to know about applying for a hearing.
If you are looking at the information here, you are probably thinking of challenging the doctor’s decision to certify you, your friend or a family member. This is every patient’s right.
To start the process, the first step is to apply for a review panel hearing. To apply for a hearing, you must complete Form 7 – Application for Review Panel Hearing and submit it to the Mental Health Review Board office by fax, email, mail or by hand delivery. See Contact Us page for contact information.
You can download a simple example of a completed Form 7 here. You can ask for help to complete the form from your mental health team, your representative, friend, family member or other person.
Patients who are certified/detained under the Mental Health Act are considered involuntary patients. Patient’s with involuntary status may challenge the certification by applying for a review panel hearing.
It is a patient’s right to a review of their certification by a review panel. The review panel will determine whether the patient continues to meet the criteria for certification.
The application for a review panel hearing may be made by a patient or by someone else on the patient’s behalf. The application, which is called Form 7 may be obtained from hospital staff or the community mental health team.
You must submit the completed application to the Board office by fax, email, mail or by hand delivery. You may give the completed form to hospital staff or the community mental health team who must facilitate the transmission of the application to the Board office.
When completing the application, you are encouraged to request for free legal representation by choosing the option “Request free legal representation the Mental Health Law Program (MHLP)” on the application. If this option does not work for you, you must pick one of the other 3 options on the application if that is more appropriate in your circumstance.
For more information on legal advice and representation please go to Getting Help page.
The patient and other participants at the hearing will receive a notice from the Board with the date, time and location of the hearing. The hearing will usually be held at the facility where the patient is receiving treatment
If you are an inpatient or a patient on leave, the hearing notice will be sent to you at the facility/mental health team. Should you wish to have a hearing notice sent to a secondary location, such as your residence or a representative, please contact the Board with the applicable address.
Within a day or two of receiving the request for a hearing, i.e., Form 7: Application for Review Panel Hearing, the Board’s office staff will contact the hospital ward or community mental health team to schedule a hearing. Usually on the same day, staff will set the date, time, and place of hearing and communicate this information to the hospital or community mental health team.
Board staff will consult with hearing participants when scheduling the hearing. However, if a participant does not respond to the scheduling request in a timely manner, the hearing will be scheduled without further consultation.
The hearing is usually held at the designated facility where the patient is located. When a patient is on extended leave, the hearing is usually scheduled in the community where the patient resides. “Extended Leave” means that the patient lives in the community while being certified.
Occasionally and where appropriate, a review panel hearing is conducted by video conference or telephone conference. For more information, please refer to the Rules of Practice and Procedure.
Regardless of the form of the hearing, the Board will ensure that the patient’s hearing is conducted in a fair and just, accessible and understandable manner.
Health facilities such as hospitals or mental health units have an obligation to provide a secure, private and appropriate physical space such as a conference room for the conduct of a hearing. For more information, please refer to Rule 20(4) of the Rules of Practice and Procedure.
Approximately a week before the hearing date, the Board office will contact the health facility in writing to confirm the date, time, and place of the hearing. If the patient is represented, the Board office will send a copy of the notice of hearing to the patient representative.
- during the first period (one month) of detention, within 14 days after a completed Form 7, “Application for Review Panel Hearing”, is delivered to the board office;
- during the second period (one further month) of detention, within 14 days after a completed Form 7 is delivered to the board office;
- during the third period (three further months) of detention, within 28 days after a completed Form 7 is delivered to the board office; and
- during the fourth and subsequent periods (six further months) of detention, within 28 days after a completed Form 7 is delivered to the board office, provided that 90 days have elapsed since the conclusion of any previous hearing.
No, the review panel process is free for patients.
The Board office can arrange for a qualified interpreter to attend the hearing. It is important that you make the request to the Board office at the time of applying for a hearing or at least 3 business days prior to the scheduled hearing. There is no cost to the patient. Please refer to the Rules of Practice and Procedure for more details.
The Board office will do its best to make necessary accommodation arrangements for the patients. It is important that the request be made in writing to the Board office as soon as possible before the scheduled hearing to allow the Board office sufficient time to make such arrangement. It is preferable that the request come in at least 7 days prior to the scheduled hearing. There is no cost to the patient. Please refer to the Rules of Practice and Procedure for more details.
No, review panel hearings are conducted in private to protect the privacy of the patient. Family members and friends who want to be present at the hearing to support the patient may normally do so only with the consent of the patient and the review panel.