HSABC Webinar: BC Mental Health Act Rights

September 29, 2022, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This session will cover:
-Basics about health care consent rights in BC and when those rights can be displaced by the BC Mental Health Act.
-What rights do people have when detained and receiving involuntary treatment under the BC Mental Health Act.
-An embodied learning exercise about the impacts of being detained and involuntarily treated under the BC Mental Health Act based in Indigenous participatory learning principles.



Laura Johnston is a lawyer who has worked primarily in the areas of disability rights, mental health, and human rights. She has represented clients with many different forms of mental disabilities and substance use issues, as well as disability rights organizations, in administrative and constitutional law cases before multiple tribunals and levels of court in Canada. She has conducted research and law reform initiatives to improve access to justice, fairness, and Charter rights for marginalized populations. Laura teaches Mental Health Law as an Adjunct Professor at the Allard School of Law at UBC and at the University of Victoria and frequently provides legal education to many audiences.

Tonya Robitaille is an Anishinaabe- Metis womxn with strong family kinship ties to the Ktunaxa and Secwepemc First Nations. She is a proud member of the Indigiqueer community and lives in the forest on the unceded territories of the Ktunaxa and Sinixt Nations on beautiful Kootenay Lake. She is passionate about Indigenous sovereignty, building empowered community capacity, harm reduction and decolonizing mental health, wellness and substance use. She is a dedicated advocate for marginalized people; sharing a wealth of lived experience surviving intergenerational trauma from the residential school system, involuntary mental health “treatment’ as a youth and adult, addiction, and homelessness. She is currently a social work student, a proud mother and titi (grandmother), a gentle friend to all animals, and spends her free time on the land gathering and making traditional medicines. She gratefully carries the teachings gathered from her own personal healing journey to share in her work with organizations like Foundry, First Nations Health Authority, and her role at Health Justice. She endeavours to create experiential and embodied educational opportunities which invite people to actively participate in their learning and to apply their understandings to create change in their own lives, workspaces, and the current colonial mental health system.