Review panels: community treatment orders – MHA

Review panels make decisions about applications for the cancellation of a community treatment order (CTO). The review panel can either cancel a CTO or refuse to cancel a CTO. Amendments (changes) to a CTO must be made by a psychiatrist or a designated physician, not a review panel.

The Mental Health Act requires the establishment of review panels. Each panel consists of four members:

  • a chair or vice-chair (who must be a lawyer),
  • 1 psychiatrist,
  • 1 physician, and
  • 1 member of the public.

A review panel hearing for the cancellation of a CTO is conducted in the area where the person subject to the CTO resides. There are three review panels:

  • Calgary and South Mental Health Review Panel (covering Zone 1: Southern Alberta, and Zone 2: Calgary);
  • Central Alberta Mental Health Review Panel (covering Zone 3: Central Alberta); and
  • Edmonton and North Mental Health Review Panel (covering Zone 4: Edmonton, and Zone 5: Northern Alberta).

Videoconference hearings may be arranged if the distance to a hearing would be too great to travel.

More information

Apply to have a CTO cancelled

A person who is subject to a CTO, the person’s agent, the person’s guardian or any person acting on behalf of the person subject to the CTO may apply to a review panel for cancellation of the CTO.

Also, on the first renewal of a CTO and on every second renewal thereafter, the CTO will automatically be sent to a review panel for review, unless the person under a CTO or someone on his/her behalf has applied for a renewal within the previous month.

Application forms to cancel CTO

You can obtain an application form from the psychiatrist or physician who supervises your CTO, other care providers working with you, hospital staff, or the mental health clinic in your community. The form is called “Form 12: Application for Review Panel Hearing – Mental Health Act.” It is very important that the information on the form is readable. Please fill in the form completely and accurately.

Where to send your completed application

The application can be mailed to the appropriate review panel chair. (see below)

A hearing for an application to cancel a CTO must be held within 21 days of the chair receiving the application.

Attending a review panel hearing

Review panel hearings are conducted in private. No person has the right to be present without the prior consent of the chair. However, you and your representative do have the right to be present while evidence is being given to the review panel. As well, you or your representative may cross-examine any person who gives evidence to the review panel.

If the review panel is of the opinion that disclosing certain information might seriously endanger the safety of another person, the review panel may refuse to disclose the information to you.

Get legal advice

It is your right to have unrestricted access to legal counsel. Legal Aid Alberta provides legal services at no cost for the hearing, regardless of your income. If you prefer, you may get your own lawyer, who will likely charge a fee. A lawyer acting on your behalf can visit you at any time.

Appeal a review panel’s decision

Any decision of the review panel may be appealed to the Court of Queen’s Bench. An appeal must be commenced within 14 days of receiving the order or written decision of a review panel. An appeal is a rehearing of the matter on its merits.

Where to get more help

If you are receiving treatment or care under a CTO, you may request assistance from your case manager, assertive outreach worker or other mental health staff involved in your care. They will provide you with information, such as brochures about Legal Aid Alberta and the Mental Health Patient Advocate Office.

You may also contact the Mental Health Patient Advocate directly. Upon request, the Mental Health Patient Advocate provides rights information, investigates complaints, and assists persons under a community treatment order and those acting on their behalf.

Review Panel hearing contacts

Applications for a Review Panel hearing can be sent to the appropriate Chair for your zone at the address below. It is important to include your address on the application form so the review panel in your area will hear the application.

Edmonton and North Mental Health Review Panel
R. Allan Harris, Chair
Suite 302, Energy Square, 10109 – 106 Street N.W.
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3L7

Calgary and South Mental Health Review Panel 
Marilyn Smith, Chair
323 – 11 Avenue N.E.
Calgary, Alberta T2E 0Z2

Central Alberta Mental Health Review Panel
Richard Wyrozub, Chair
Box 4550
5016 – 51 Avenue
Ponoka, Alberta T4J 1S1

If you are not sure which health zone you live in to determine which Chair to contact, check the Alberta Health Services Zone map.