New Mental Health Act

YELLOWKNIFE (August 29, 2018) — The Minister of Health and Social Services, Glen Abernethy is pleased to announce that the new Mental Health Act will be coming into force on September 1, 2018.

The new Mental Health Act (the Act) is an essential part of the Department of Health and Social Services’ work to modernize mental health care in the Northwest Territories to better protect the rights, safety and wellbeing of individuals living with mental illness.

The Act is an important tool in the way care is provided to those residents who are deemed most vulnerable by focusing on individuals with acute psychiatric disorders who have become a serious risk to themselves or others. The new legislation places a strong emphasis on individual rights, safety and person-centered treatment plans to ease the integration back to communities with support from family, professionals and community.  

This new legislation is part of a multi-pronged approach by the Government of the Northwest Territories to support the mental wellness of residents which is guided by the Mind and Spirit Mental Health and Addictions Strategic Framework.

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“The new Mental Health Act’s primary focus is for circumstances in where a person with a mental health disorder has become a serious risk to themselves or others. It sets out processes that must be followed to treat, and where necessary prevent them from harming themselves or others. This new Act is only one piece of the overall service continuum for mental health, and targets a very small population. To ensure that the mental health needs of all residents are being met, we are continuing work highlighted in the 2016 Mental Health and Addictions Strategic Framework.”
- Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services, GNWT

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Media Contact

Damien Healy
Manager of Communications
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
1-867-767-9052 ext. 49034
Damien_Healy@gov.nt.ca