Understanding & Accommodating Mental Illness

Understanding & Accommodating Mental Illness

January 31st has been designated ‘Bell Lets Talk Day’ in an attempt to recognize that we as a society need work on acknowledging mental illness. Mental illness is as real as physical illness. Just like physical illness, mental illness comes in all shapes and sizes and does not discriminate against who it attacks. Statistically, in any given year 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness. The Canadian Mental Health Association website shares other startling statistics with respect to how common mental illness is amongst us. Initiatives like ‘Bells Lets Talk Day’ help reduce the stigma and resulting discrimination attached to mental illness. However, the reality is understanding and acceptance of mental illness in our society is not what it should be…. yet.

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Not Criminally Responsible - Balancing Personal Rights & Public Protection

Not Criminally Responsible - Balancing Personal Rights & Public Protection

The courts found that Mr. Li was Not Criminally Responsible (NCR) for the death of Tim McLean because he was unable to appreciate the consequences of his actions. Mr. Li was held in a locked psychiatric ward for years while he was receiving treatment, and getting more freedom, including short passes, and eventually his own apartment. He was described by his psychiatrist as an “ideal patient” Just this week, a review board decided he no longer posed a significant threat topublic safety and he was granted an absolute discharge meaning that he will no longer be monitored and has no restrictions on his freedom.

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