Quick Facts

For a printable version of the following information CLICK HERE >>

Participants in the Mental Health Court Program are expected to:
 


The Mental Health Court Program sits most Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom #5 at the Provincial Court in Dartmouth, 277 Pleasant St.
Telephone: (902)722-1040

~ Acknowledge or plead guilty to your charge(s);
~ Have a qualifying mental health disorder that is clearly related to your charge(s);
~ Attend Court on a regular basis (sometimes weekly);
~ Attend all professional appointments;
~ Take all medications prescribed by treatment provider(s);
~ Abstain from drugs and/or alcohol use, if required, and submit to substance-use testing;
~ Not drive for at least one (1) year if the offence(s) are driving related; and
~ Be involved in the Court Program for at least one (1) year.



Mental Health Disorder Eligibility Criteria

For a printable version of the following information CLICK HERE >>


To be eligible for consideration in the Mental Health Court Program, applicants must have a mental disorder. The program defines a mental disorder as a significant disturbance in an individual’s ability to think and/or problem solve, their control over their emotions, and/or their ability to control their behavior. Examples of mental disorders that clearly fit this definition are schizophrenia (or other psychotic disorders), bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder.

Applicants whose sole diagnosis is substance-related will not be considered, nor will applicants whose only diagnosis falls within the spectrum of paraphilic disorders (e.g., pedophilia or exhibitionism). The program may consider individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders or brain injury on a case-by-case basis.

The program may review other cases where there is a diagnosable mental disorder that does not clearly fit the above criteria (e.g. personality disorders or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). However, these cases will only be reviewed under exceptional circumstances where there is a clear nexus to the offending and reasonable expectation that the intervention of the Mental Health Court will be of benefit. Individuals whose sole diagnosis is Antisocial Personality Disorder will not be considered.

In all cases, an applicant’s acceptance to the Mental Health Court Program will be considered with respect to the program’s ability to support the individual in the community.

Crown Attorney Consent

For a printable version of the following information CLICK HERE >>


Among other considerations for an individual to be eligible for the Mental Health Court Program, the Crown attorney must consent to the person participating. It is the Crown attorney’s role to assess the file from the perspective of public interest and safety to ensure that the risk of public harm is minimized or managed in an acceptable fashion. In some cases, the Crown attorney may not provide consent for a particular applicant to be considered for inclusion in the Program.

Crown attorney consent is separate from the eligibility criteria. There are times when, notwithstanding the fact that the applicant meets the eligibility criteria for the Court, the Crown attorney may not provide consent. Some factors the Crown may consider are as follows:

~
How serious is the offence?
~
What is the degree of harm resulting from the offence?
~
How dated are the offences?
~
Does the applicant have a history of breaching court orders?
~
Has the accused been in the Mental Health Court Program before? Was the participation successful or unsuccessful?
~
Does the accused have a general history of non-compliance with programming and counselling?
~
Does the accused have a general history of non-compliance with programming and counselling?
~
Does the accused have a history of non-adherence to prescribed medication recommendations?
~
Does the accused have a lengthy record of related offences?
~
Does the accused have a longstanding history of violent offences or sexual offences?
~
What is the likelihood of criminal recidivism and/or risk of violence?
~
Are there adequate resources to manage the offender’s needs within the community?
~
Will the referral interfere with a scheduled preliminary inquiry or trial date?
   
   
 

 

MENTAL HEALTH COURT PROGRAM POLICIES


Mission Statement >>


Admission Policy >>

Mental Health Disorder Eligibility Criteria >>


Crown Attorney Consent >>


Program Expectations >>


Monitoring Expectations >>


Victim's Voice Guidelines >>

Community Volunteer Work (Directed Project) >>


Veteran's Participation Policy >>

MENTAL HEALTH COURT PROGRAM FORMS


Request for Services for Mi'kmaq &
Aboriginal People >>


Waiver of Delay >>

Support Plan Template >>


Victim's Voice Statement >>


Consent to Share Court & Correctional
Services Information >>


Nova Scotia Health Authority Consent to
Share Health Information >>


My Use Form >>


Nova Scotia Health Authority
Consent to Participate >>


Research Participation Consent Form >>


Screening Report >>


OPIOID COURT PROGRAM
POLICIES & FORMS


Admission Policy >>

Client Protocol >>

Alcohol Court Program Expectations >>

The court programs available at the
Dartmouth Wellness Court are administered via a partnership with Mental Health and Addictions
and the Opioid Treatment Program at the
Nova Scotia Health Authority.

Re-Application to the Mental Health Court Program

For a printable version of the following information CLICK HERE >>


Any adult (18 years or older) may make an application to the Mental Health Court Program if he or she resides in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM). This is to ensure the Program’s clinicians can do wellness checks at the client’s home, should there be an urgent need to do so. Applicants must also have a substantial connection to the HRM, which must include, but is not limited to, working or attending school in the area, and their mental health support persons and programs must be within the municipal boundaries.

The offence(s) an applicant is charged with must be within the jurisdiction of the Provincial Court. An applicant will be prohibited from making a further application to the Program on the same set of charges that were previously dealt with by the Program, except in special circumstances where additional significant and new information is available and presented through the applicant’s counsel.

Former applicants and participants that make application within one year of completing their involvement with the Program will be required, through their counsel, to provide information to the Court in support of a further application.

If a former applicant or participant has not had any involvement with the Program for more than a year, then the application process will proceed in the normal course.

In all cases, the final decision of admissibility to the Mental Health Court Program rests with the team and requires the consent of the Crown attorney.

Support for Veterans

For a printable version of the following information CLICK HERE >>


In 2017, the Mental Health Court Program in Dartmouth announced a partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada to support veterans in Nova Scotia who, as a direct result of their occupational stress injuries, have come in conflict with the justice system.

An eligible Veteran participant is any former member of the Canadian Armed Forces (including reserve force) or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who is 18 years of age and older. The Veteran participant must meet the eligibility criteria of the Mental Health Court Program as indicated below:

~
Charged with a criminal offence within the jurisdiction of the Provincial Court;
~
Participants must acknowledge responsibility for the act or omission that forms the basis of the offence(s) they are alleged to have committed;
~
Must have a qualifying mental health disorder/operational stress injury that is substantially connected to the commission of the offence;
~
Must have a substantial connection to the Halifax Regional Municipality, defined as having been previously posted to, working, or attending school in the area; or residing in the Halifax Regional Municipality; and have any mental health supports persons or programs within the municipal boundaries;
~
Must we willing to receive case management services from Veterans Affairs Canada; and
~
Must have the consent of the Crown Attorney in the Mental Health Court.
   

Veteran referrals will occur through the normal Mental Health Court referral process and may involve either a Veteran who is an existing client of Veterans Affairs Canada or, as a result of the referral to the Mental Health Court, will be referred to Veterans Affairs Canada for case management services.

Services for Mi'kmaq and Aboriginal People

To fill out the form to request services for Mi'kmaq and Aboriginal people CLICK HERE >>

Both the Mental Health Court Program and the Opioid Court Program at the Dartmouth Wellness Court partner with the Mi'kmaq Legal Support Network (MLSN) to ensure the cultural and other unique needs of their Aboriginal participants are considered throughout the court process.

The broader court team for all the programs includes a dedicated Court Worker from MLSN who oversees this work.

TO THE LEFT: Shannon Mooney, a case worker with the Mi'kmaw Legal Support Network in the Halifax Regional Municipality, presents Chief Judge Pamela Williams with a traditional Mi'kmaq talking stick, created by a graduate of the Dartmouth Wellness Court.


Client Feedback Welcomed

The Mental Health Court Program team wants to hear from program participants about their experiences with the Dartmouth Wellness Court. There are links to two different surveys below; one covers participants' interaction with the Court screening process, which takes about five minutes to complete. The other has to do with participants' experience in the court program itself, which takes about 15 minutes. Completing either or both of these surveys is voluntary. Not taking the surveys will have no effect on the participant's care. Survey answers are anonymous and confidential.

You can complete the surveys online on the Nova Scotia Health Authority's website(on the last page of both surveys, when you click "DONE", it will be automatically sent to the Health Authority).

CLIENT'S SCREENING EXPERIENCE SURVEY >>

CLIENT'S COURT EXPERIENCE SURVEY >>
   
You can complete the surveys on your computer (MS Word) and then save, print, and mail them to the Nova Scotia Health Authority (the mailing address is included on last page).

CLIENT'S SCREENING EXPERIENCE SURVEY >>

CLIENT'S COURT EXPERIENCE SURVEY >>
   
You can print the surveys and fill them out by hand and then mail
them to the Nova Scotia Health Authority
(the mailing address is included on last page).

CLIENT'S SCREENING EXPERIENCE SURVEY >>

CLIENT'S COURT EXPERIENCE SURVEY >>

 

There is a similar Mental Health Court Program operating in Kentville that serves
Kings and Hants Counties. For more information
CLICK HERE >>

There is also a Court Monitored Drug Treatment Program in Kentville.
To find out more
CLICK HERE >>