The provincial Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office (PPAO) has seen an increase in both rights advice and advocacy issues since the Mental Health Act was amended in 2001, according to its 2009 annual report.
The report, submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, breaks down the type of assistance provided by the PPAO in 2009 by category and compares the data to previous years. In 2009, there were 2,198 requests for rights advice related to the intention to issue or renew a community treatment order (CTO), compared to 1,786 in 2008. For the past two years, more advice has been sought on renewals than issuances. As well, a greater percentage of CTOs were consented to by substitute decision makers in 2009 than in previous years.
In 2009, the PPAO conducted 8,836 advocacy interventions on behalf of individual clients. Interventions include providing information, providing assistance, consulting, discussing options, making referrals, drafting written materials, and other actions. PPAO also carried out systemic advocacy, by making submissions to government, presenting workshops and supporting recommendations for change. According to the authors of the report, Criminal Code-related issues accounted for over half of the requests for individual advocacy in 2009.
See “PPAO Annual Report 2009: Rights Protection in a Time of Change,” available at www.ppao.gov.on.ca.