Where to make an Application for Compulsory Care

The specified audio id does not exist.

The topics in the Dial-A-Law series provide general information on a wide variety of legal issues in the Province of Alberta. This service is provided by Calgary Legal Guidance funded in part by the Alberta Law Foundation.

The topics in the Dial-A-Law series provide only general information on legal issues within the Province of Alberta. The purpose is to make you aware of your legal rights and responsibilities. This is not legal advice. If you have a legal concern and require legal advice, you should consult a lawyer.

This topic will briefly discuss the different forms of compulsory care of adult persons under the present law.

“Compulsory Care” refers to the confinement (imprisonment or detention or to hold or lock someone for a specific period of time) to an institution of adult persons who presents a danger to themselves, or to others.

An adult may be assessed and confined to a mental health facility, or a place of care under the following provincial and federal legislation:

  • Mental Health Act of Alberta
  • Dependent Adults Act of Alberta
  • The Criminal Code of Alberta.

Under the Mental Health Act, you can make an application to the Provincial Court for an Order of confinement of an adult person who you believe suffers from a mental disorder, presents a danger to himself or others and who is suitable for admission only as a formal patient to a mental health facility. The Court will issue the Order if it is satisfied by the medical evidence of a doctor that the person suffers from an acute mental disorder and needs to be admitted to such a facility.

A police officer or the Minister of Health and Wellness also has the authority under the Mental Health Act to have such an adult person confined to a facility for a short period of time. With the patient’s consent, or with acceptable medical evidence, the period of confinement may be extended.

There are 15 designated mental health facilities under the Mental Health Act, namely:

  • Alberta Hospital, Edmonton
  • Alberta Hospital, Ponoka
  • Claresholm Care Centre, Claresholm
  • Foothills, Hospital, Calgary
  • Fort McMurray, Regional Hospital
  • Grey Nuns Hospital, Edmonton
  • Holy Cross Hospital, Calgary
  • Lethbridge Regional Hospital
  • Medicine Hat Regional Hospital
  • Misericordia Hospital, Edmonton
  • Peter Lougheed Hospital, Calgary.
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Grande Prairie
  • Rockeyview General Hospital, Calgary
  • Royal Alexandria Hospital, Edmonton
  • University of Alberta Hospital

The second type of compulsory care of a person relates to a ‘dependent adult” and is governed by the Dependent Adult’s Act. A dependent adult is a person who is already found to be a mentally incompetent person by the Court of Queen’s Bench, and who has a guardian or trustee appointed to take care of their needs.

If the mental condition of a dependent adult presents a danger to themselves, or others, you can make an application to the Court of Queen’s Bench for a Compulsory Care Order to have him confined to a place of care. The Court must be satisfied by medical evidence that confinement is necessary. The dependent adult may be confined for up to 3 years. An application to review the Compulsory Care Order issued by the Court may be made by any interested person.

The following are the designated places of care under the Dependent Adults Act:

  • Michener Centre, Red Deer
  • Alberta Hospital, Edmonton
  • Alberta Hospital, Ponoka

The third type of Compulsory Care Order relates to persons accused of a crime and held in police custody. There are provisions under the Criminal Code of Canada that allows persons to be detained, and undergo psychiatric examination if considered necessary. You may wish to consult a lawyer if you feel that the rights of an accused person have been violated in this respect.