THE ADVOCATE 569
VOL. 80 PART 4 JULY 2022
The first phase of implementation of this project will be a “by request”
system, where patients must be notified that the service is available and if
they request to speak with a rights advisor will be able to do so. Once the
contracted agencies delivering this service—expected to be organizations
with experience providing services and legal assistance to people with serious
mental health issues—are up and running and the health authorities
have good systems in place, the second phase will involve proactive notification
at designated “events” to the service provider, and the service
provider will reach out to the patient to offer the service proactively.
The people delivering this service are not expected to be lawyers, but
they will facilitate access to lawyers for those who request a hearing before
the Mental Health Review Board or the court. We expect the service to be
up and running in 2023.
The government remains committed to making sure our justice system
is accessible, supportive and responsive to the needs of people across the
province. The widespread adoption of technology by both service providers
and the broader public, as well as our courts, has enabled us to do more than
ever before to preserve access to justice while improving the efficiency and
effectiveness of justice services government delivers, or that courts deliver.
I look forward to continuing to work with our partners as we modernize
the court system and improve access to justice for all British Columbians.