Media Advisory – Mental Health Focus of Justice Workshop

Winnipeg, Nov. 9 – Dealing with individuals with mental illness and who have also come into contact with the law is one of the biggest issues facing those working in the legal system today. Whether it’s police responding to calls, or the courts handling cases where the accused has a mental health problem, justice systems across Canada are now looking for new approaches to help individuals with mental illness.On Wednesday, November 10, 2010, the Manitoba Criminal Justice Association (MCJA) and the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) are bringing together over 200 professionals, researchers and students from justice, health, education and social services sectors, to share information and become better equipped for dealing with people who are mentally ill.

The discussions will take place at the Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, at the MCJA’s Annual Crime Prevention Month Breakfast, and will continue at a Workshop co-hosted by the MCJA and the MHCC on Mental Health and the Law.

Judge Raymond E. Wyant of the Provincial Court of Manitoba is the keynote speaker at the Breakfast and will discuss potential changes regarding mental health and criminal justice from the Manitoba perspective.

Deputy Chief Judge Allan Lefever of the Provincial Court of Alberta will be one of the keynote speakers at the Mental Health and the Law Workshop and will focus on the pilot mental health court he has helped to create in Edmonton.

Who: Leading experts in the fields of justice and mental health

Where: Fort Garry Hotel Conference Centre, 222 Broadway, Winnipeg, Manitoba

When: Wednesday, November 10, 2010. 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. (Breakfast) 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Workshop)

The following spokespeople will be available throughout the day for media interviews:

•Deputy Chief Judge Allan Lefever – development of a pilot mental health court in Edmonton
•The Honourable Justice Schneider – mental illness and the courts
•Patrick Baillie, senior forensic psychologist, lawyer and member of the MHCC’s Mental Health and the Law Advisory Committee – stigma and other barriers to treatment
•Marcia Thomson, Winnipeg Site Co-ordinator for the MHCC’s At Home / Chez Soi project – mental illness and criminal justice in regards to homeless people
•Romie Christie, Opening Minds Manager for the MHCC – MHCC’s anti-stigma initiative
•Individuals who have first-hand experience of mental health and the justice system

For further information:
For more information and interview requests please contact:

In Winnipeg:Corrine Deegan, MCJA, 204 781 9839, corrine.deegan@gov.mb.ca
In Calgary: Karleena Suppiah, MHCC Communication, 403 370 3835, ksuppiah@mentalhealthcommission.ca

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