Mental Health Diversion

How to get treatment for a mental disorder instead of a criminal record

The mental health diversion program is a program available in Edmonton and most major centers throughout Alberta that is designed to assist adults and adolescents with a mental illness who are charged with minor low-risk offences. The goal of the program is to ensure that those suffering from mental illness receive care and treatment instead of being prosecuted by the criminal justice system. The Mental Health Diversion program is a positive step that helps to address the increasing criminalization of people with mental illness. Accused persons accepted into the program most commonly suffer from schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders as well as mood, adjustment and anxiety disorders. Often a client’s mental illness is made worse by a drug or alcohol addiction. If found eligible for diversion, an individual receives community-based treatment that focuses on the specific mental health, life skill issues, and addictions that may have contributed to the offence.

The diversion program is available for individuals charged with less serious offences where there is a reasonable belief that a person is suffering from a mental disorder.  Such offences include things like: theft, fraud, mischief, assault, obstructions, public intoxication.  Sometimes, even more serious offences like break and enter, assault of a police officer, or even various forms of domestic violence can be referred to the program, but this requires unique circumstances and a careful assessment by a criminal defence lawyer.

A mental disorder is a substantial disorder of thought, mood, perception, orientation or memory. Our role as criminal defence lawyers is to convince the Crown that a client may suffer from a mental illness and would benefit from treatment instead of being prosecuted and convicted. Once the Crown gives his or her consent, health care workers complete an evaluation. If an accused person meets the internal criteria of the program, a three month court extension will be allotted to complete the treatment.  We then go to court for a client and ask for a three month adjournment while they receive treatment. After those three months, if treatment has been completed, we again attend court and ask that the charges be withdrawn.

It is our job as a criminal defence lawyers to pursue any and all defences available. If you have been charged with a criminal offence and think you may be eligible for the diversion program, please call us. Barring unforeseen circumstances if you retain us and successfully complete the mental health diversion program, your charges will be withdrawn.

Mental Health Diversion (MHD) FAQs

  1. What is mental health diversion (MHD)?
  2. How can I get mental health diversion?
VIEW ALL SERVICES

View Our

Successful Cases

Our team of experienced criminal defence lawyers has defended clients in over 10,000 cases across Canada.

Learn More

Client Reviews

Danielle was incredibly professional and effective in the defense of my case. But more than that, she really listened and tried to help me personally. She was kind, honest and open when it came to my specific situation. I appreciate her sense of humanity. It wasn’t just a paycheck. She made me feel like I’m worth it and my life is worth it. Thank you for caring and for putting in the effort Danielle!! I couldn’t have done this on my own.

R.M.

I found myself charged with crimes I couldn’t understand. Danielle heard of my predicament and offered to take the case with a payment arrangement that I could manage. Her friendly professionalism helped ease my nerves and her confidence that she could help put this matter behind me was unshakeable. The end result was I still have a clean record and faith that there is help available for those who need it.

C.M.

Danielle Boisvert was my lawyer and I appreciate her professionalism and speedy responses. Danielle made me feel very comfortable throughout the whole process and gave me the confidence that things would be taken care of. In no time at all Danielle told me the good news that she had successfully withdrawn my charges. Please contact Danielle Boisvert if you are facing criminal charges, you will not be disappointed!

B.

Anny Wang was my defence attorney. I had never been in trouble with the law before but I found myself facing criminal charges. I had no idea what to do or what was going on. She took the time to explain everything to me and made time to answer my many questions. I took her advice at every turn and made me feel a lot better about going to trial. I felt prepared and knew what to expect. She got all the charges dropped just like she had predicted. She did an amazing job in court and out. I highly recommend Anny Wang to anyone facing criminal charges and needing legal counsel. Thanks again Anny Wang for everything you did!

H.

Amazing service, professional and couldn’t ask for better results. Anny Wang was very clear about the process and thoroughly explained it. Was able to have my charges withdrawn, again amazing. Highly recommend Anny to anyone facing a criminal charge as she’s great to have in your corner when entering the court system for your first time. Thank you again Anny Wang!

S.B.
READ OUR REVIEWS
GET A FREE CONSULTATION