Mental Health Act

The Northwest Territories Mental Health Act is a law that guides short-term assessment and care of people experiencing a mental health emergency. The Mental Health Act legislation and regulations provide direction and guidance around who can be admitted to hospital, and when and how a person should be admitted, while making sure the person’s rights are protected.

The Mental Health Act does not have age limits. It can be used to help children, youth, adults, and elders.

In Canada, every province and territory has mental health laws to serve the people living in that province or territory.

The new Act came into force on September 1, 2018.

Key elements of the Act include:

  • The classification of two NWT health centres and two hospitals as “designated facilities” to support the care and treatment of people living with  mental health disorders;
  • a strong focus on individual rights and safety;
  • the creation of a Mental Health Act Review Board that will establish review panels to hear appeals for involuntary hospitalization from individuals; and,
  • a new function – Assisted Community Treatment – that allows families and communities to work with health and social services professionals to support a community member with a mental health disorder to live outside of a designated facility when supports are available

Related Services / Information