Resources for Ad Hoc MHLP Lawyers

Information on representing patients at Mental Health Act (Review Panel) hearings

The Community Legal Assistance Society’s Mental Health Law Program provides representation to people who have applied to review their involuntary detention under the B.C. Mental Health Act at a hearing before the Mental Health Review Board. These hearings are usually called Review Panel hearings.

The Legal Services Society provides us with funding to hire members of the private bar to represent clients outside of the Lower Mainland, or in the Lower Mainland when the demand for our services is high. If you would like to join our roster of ad hoc lawyers, or if you would like to learn more about the Mental Health Law Program, please email Diane Nielsen at

Please be advised that our ad hoc lawyers must have an LSS vendor number.

MHLP Forms & Resources

A Guide for Lawyers and Legal Advocates

This simple guide will walk you through preparing your client's case, from first interview to the end of their Review Panel hearing. It provides tips for interviewing clients living with mental disorders, obtaining medical records and navigating this area of mental health law.

Representing Your Client at a Hearing of the Mental Health Review Board

Practice Checklist for Mental Health Review Board Hearings

BC Health Authorities Access to Health Records Forms

Lawyers and legal advocates will need these forms to obtain medical records needed to prepare for Review Panel hearings. Please find your region's authorization form below. If you learn of a new policy or form being used in your health region, please email us at This information will allow us to provide you the most up-to-date forms.

CLAS Handouts

Lawyers and legal advocates may find these sample forms and questionnaires helpful in preparing for Review Panel hearings.

Access to Medical Records

Client Information Sheet

Hospital Contact List

Interview Questionnaire

Records Request Letter

Request for Copies

Resources for clients

Self-help guide to help you prepare for your Mental Health Review Panel hearing, if you are representing yourself.

Guide to the Mental Health Act (2005) from the provincial Ministry of Health.