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Glossary of Terms

COMING SOON - Glossary of Terms specific to the work of the Health Advocate and the Seniors' Advocate.

 This Glossary of Terms is specific to the work of the Mental Health Patient Advocate.

A form filled out by a medical doctor that gives the authority for a person to be apprehended and taken to a facility and detained. If two admission certificates are issued, the person is admitted to a facility as a formal patient.
someone you trust to make important decisions for you when you are not able to make decisions for yourself. Legally, the agent is named in a Personal Directive. The person may or may not be a family member.
under the Mental Health Act, this means to be picked up by police and taken to a facility. A medical doctor, judge or police officer may order a person with a mental disorder to be apprehended and conveyed.
under the Mental Health Act, this means being able to understand the information relating to treatment decisions and able to appreciate the consequences and effects of making these decisions. Only a basic level of understanding is expected. Competence can change from time to time and you may be competent to make decisions about some things, but not others.
to cooperate or obey.
to willingly give your permission once you have correct information about something you are asked to do or agree to and know and understand the consequences of agreeing to it or not agreeing to it.
to be taken (conveyed) to a facility.
specific conditions that must exist and/or behaviours that must be observed (seen) in a person in order for him or her to be subject to actions described in the Mental Health Act.
being held in a facility against your will.
for symptoms of illness to get worse, or to go from being healthy to being ill.
hospitals named in the Mental Health Act, Mental Health Regulation that provide care and treatment to people with mental disorders. A list of designated facilities can be found in the Resources section.
someone who is admitted to a hospital under two admission certificates (Form 1) or two renewal certificates (Form 2).
trivial, not serious or of much worth.
a person who has legally been given authority to make decisions on your behalf through either the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (if you're under 18), or the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act.
to have a limitation that negatively affects a person's ability to function. This term is not defined in the Mental Health Act or Regulations.
against your will, without consent or permission.
physical restraints, which could range from handcuffs during transportation to cloth bindings in bed.
defined in the Mental Health Act as “a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behaviour, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life.” Perception is awareness of the world through the senses, like seeing or hearing. Orientation, as used here, is awareness of who you are, where you are and what time you are living in.
see Facility or designated facility, above.
an informal term used to describe the Form 8 warrant issued by a judge. Nearest relative - under the Mental Health Act, your nearest relative is an adult who is a spouse or common law partner, a son or daughter, a parent, a brother or sister, a grandparent, a grandchild, aunt or uncle, or nephew or niece.
the Mental Health Act defines psychosurgery as "any procedure that, by direct or indirect access to the brain, removes, destroys or interrupts the continuity of histologically normal brain tissue, or that inserts indwelling electrodes for pulsed electric stimulation for the purpose of altering behaviour or treating psychiatric illness, but does not include neurological procedures used to diagnose or treat intractable physical pain or epilepsy where those conditions are clearly demonstrable." ECT is not considered psychosurgery under the Mental Health Act.
if there is no guardian, agent, or nearest relative to act as a substitute decision-maker (provide consent) under the Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act, the Office of the Public Guardian will make decisions for someone who is deemed incompetent under the Mental Health Act.
a level of force appropriate to an particular situation. For example, the amount of force used against a frail elderly woman should be much less than that needed to control a strong, young man.
Form 2. A certificate that gives the authority to extend a person's detention in a facility. Two renewal certificates must be issued by two different doctors to extend the person's stay.
a group of people appointed by the Minister of Alberta Health. It is made up of one lawyer (who is the chairperson the vice-chair), a medical doctor, a psychiatrist, and a member of the general public. The Panel gives decisions based on independent reviews of actions taken under the Mental Health Act.
see Agent , Guardian, and Public Guardian, above.
(Form 15) An order issued by the Review Panel that authorizes specific physician-proposed treatment to be given to a competent formal patient (under certain criteria) without the patient's consent.
against your will, without permission.