The Winnipeg Mental Health Court (MHC) opened in 2012 by a joint initiative of Manitoba Justice and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) Mental Health Program. The purpose of the MHC is to divert adults whose criminal involvement is a direct result of their mental illness from the regular court system. This court falls under the problem solving courts in Manitoba. Currently, the MHC is only available in Winnipeg.
Individuals who have a severe and persistent mental illness and commit a criminal offence as a result of their mental health illness may be eligible for the MHC. Once individual meets the criteria for the MHC, the individual will be provided with mental health services. Services are provided by a Forensic Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) team which has been established within the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s (WRHA’s) Community Mental Health Program to work with MHC participants.
“The Forensic Community Service provides specialized services to individuals under the auspices of the Criminal Code Review Board. It has a varied mandate, including case management in the Winnipeg area and consultation with mental health agencies and health care providers throughout the province. This service has a strong treatment and rehabilitation focus, which addresses both daily living needs and safety issues of the programs’ clients, their families and the community.” (Manitoba Healthy Living and Seniors, 2014)
Length of time in the MHC will vary on the person and their service plan developed by the FACT team. Individuals can expect to remain in the MHC until all expectations are completed.
For more information on the Mental Health Court in Manitoba, please visit the following websites: