Can I appeal a decision about my mental health?

If you disagree with a decision your made about your mental health, you can try to resolve it informally or formally.

Some examples of health-care providers include:

  • Psychiatrists and other doctors, who can treat you for a and prescribe medicine
  • Psychologists, who provide psychotherapy, counselling and other treatments to manage your mental health
  • Social workers, who provide support, suggest ways to manage day-to-day problems in your life, and help you develop skills to cope with challenges you’re facing

Resolve informally

Sometimes, you can resolve an issue you have with your health-care provider informally. For example, if you disagree with something your therapist has said about your mental health, you can ask them to discuss the issue with you.

Or, if you feel that your doctor didn’t give you enough information to make an informed decision about your , you can talk to them about your concerns and the questions you have.

If you get the information or result that you wanted from your informal talk with your health-care provider, you may decide you’re satisfied and don’t need to file a formal complaint.

Resolve formally

If you think trying to resolve your issue informally isn’t suitable in your situation, or if you tried it and it didn’t work, then you can resolve it formally. You do this by submitting an official:

  • complaint about your health-care provider, or
  • application to appeal or review the decision you disagree with.

Depending on which decision you disagree with, you may have to submit a complaint or application to one or more of the following:

  • The Consent and Capacity Board: The Board handles issues to do with your mental capacity, staying in a , and Community Treatment Orders.
  • The Information and Privacy Commissioner: the Commissioner handles issues to do with your privacy and your health .
  • A professional organization: Most health-care professionals belong to a professional organization. So if a health-care professional violated their duties, you can complain to the professional organization they belong to.

For example, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario handles issues to do with the way your doctor treated you or handled your situation.

If you disagree with your health-care provider, you may be able to go to another one. This can be more difficult if you’re staying in a psychiatric facility.

If your doctor has discriminated against you, you may be able to make an application to the Human Rights Tribunal.

Get legal help

It’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer about your options.

If you’re a patient in a psychiatric facility, you have the right to talk to a Rights Adviser. A Rights Adviser helps you understand your health-care rights. They’re not lawyers, but they can help you find a lawyer. To speak with a Rights Adviser, you can contact the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office at 1-800-578-2343.

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.

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