In November 2013, Toronto resident Ellen Richardson was denied entry to the United States by U.S. Customs and Border Protection because she had been hospitalized for clinical depression in 2012. This story significantly raised the issue of the disclosure of mental health police records and whether this information should be released and shared in the same manner as a criminal record. As Co-Chair of the Police Records Check Coalition, CMHA Ontario believes the practice of disclosing mental health record information is discriminatory to individuals who have come in contact with the police.
“Mental health police records are created as a result of medical intervention, not criminal contact,” CMHA Ontario CEO Camille Quenneville told the Toronto Star. “In other words, mental health police records are not criminal records and should not be treated as such.”
CMHA Ontario Policy Director Uppala Chandrasekera also spoke to the Toronto Star regarding a recent report that the RCMP shares a database containing information about Canadians who attempt or threaten suicide with U.S. law enforcement authorities.
Both stories are available on the Toronto Star website: