Mental Health Complaints to the Ombudsperson (14:IX)

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Complaints concerning provincial mental health facilities, their practices or their treatment of patients may be taken to the BC Ombudsperson. This office has the authority to investigate patient complaints, make recommendations to the facility, mediate problem situations that may arise between a patient and the facility and make recommendations to the Lieutenant-Governor and the Provincial Cabinet regarding the results of these investigations.

Complaints must be made in writing. The office is careful to ensure that, where necessary, the identity of the complainant is kept secret from hospital staff. Common complaints include concerns about over-medication, seclusion, or providing rights information. In such cases, the Ombudsperson has the authority to take the issue to an outside medical source to verify whether the patient is receiving appropriate levels of medication, to ensure the facility follows necessary protocols and reviews for placing people in seclusion and provides immediate rights information for those involuntarily detained. Complaints can be filed through the website at or by calling the Ombudsperson’s office at 1-800-567-3247.

This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by the Law Students' Legal Advice Program on July 29, 2019.
© Copyright 2020, The Greater Vancouver Law Students' Legal Advice Society.

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