The Psychiatric Patient Advocacy Office (PPAO) has released their 2010 annual report. The PPAO has been providing rights advice, education and advocacy to Ontarians with mental illness for over 25 years. They offer both individual and system advocacy to provide a system of checks and balances for rights identified in the Mental Health Act (MHA).
PPAO advocates can provide support in hospital or in the community for issues spanning record checks to advocacy on consent and capacity board hearings. They are also able to support clients in advocating for themselves.
Advocacy on involuntary admissions comprised 68.3 per cent of their cases in 2010. One area of concern is community treatment orders (CTO). There has been a seven-fold increase in the number of CTOs and issuances between 2002 and 2010. A number of these are coming from persons consenting to their own orders, leading the PPAO to question if CTOs are being used to access supports and services that are not readily available any other way.
The report also discussed the impact of changes to the MHA, legislated in 2010, and a number of systemic advocacy issues such as the successful resolution to the guidelines for police records checks, and the use of restraints in hospitals.
See, “Annual Report: Rights Protection in a Time of Change,” available at www.sse.gov.on.ca.