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 Form 1: Application for Psychiatric Assessment

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This Info guide has been prepared by the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office in the Ministry of Health for general Informational purposes only.  It does not contain legal advice.  If you have a question of would like advice about your specific legal situation, you should contact a lawyer.

June 2016

What is a Form 1?

  • A Form 1 is also referred to as an Application by Physician for Psychiatric Assessment. The Form 1 allows a doctor to hold you in a psychiatric facility for up to 72 hours in order for you to undergo a psychiatric assessment. This assessment is to determine whether you require the care and supervision that a psychiatric hospital can provide. 
  • A doctor may sign a Form 1, whether you are in the community or in hospital. However, the doctor must have examined you within the 7 days before he or she signs the Form 1.
  • Once a Form 1 is signed, it lasts for 7 days. Within those 7 days, another person, usually a police officer, has the authority to take you immediately to a psychiatric facility. The Form 1 does not allow anyone to detain you in jail or in any institution other than a psychiatric facility. After 7 days have expired, it is no longer in effect and a doctor would have to release you, or re-examine you and issue another Form 1.
  • If you are the subject of a Form 1, the attending physician must promptly provide you with written notice once the 72-hour period of detention at a psychiatric facility begins. This notice sets out the reasons for your detention and the fact that you have the right to retain legal counsel.
  • Once the assessment resulting from the Form 1 is completed you may be released, admitted as a voluntary or informal patient, or admitted as an involuntary patient.
  • To be admitted as an involuntary patient, a second doctor (i.e. a different doctor than the one who signed the Form 1) must examine you and determine that you meet the criteria under the law. If you are not made an involuntary patient after 72 hours, you are entitled to leave the psychiatric facility.


Can the doctor really keep me in the hospital against my will?

  • Yes. The Form 1 allows the doctor to keep you in the hospital for up to 72 hours from the time you are detained at the hospital for assessment.


Does it have to be a psychiatrist that signs a Form 1?

  • No. Any doctor can place you on a Form 1. There is no legal requirement for this doctor to be a psychiatrist. However, a doctor must assess you before you can be placed on a Form 1


Does the doctor have to tell me the reason for keeping me in the hospital?

  • You have the right to know the reason for your detention and receive a written notice with those reasons. The notice is often provided on a Form 42 (Notice to Person of Application for Psychiatric Assessment) and you have the right to receive it immediately. The reason that the doctor is holding you on the Form 1 will be given to you on a Form 42.


Can I contact a lawyer?

  • Yes. As will be set out in the notice provided to you, you have the right to retain and instruct a lawyer, without delay. The psychiatric facility has to provide you with the ability to do so (for example, they must allow you access to a phone).


What happens if a doctor doesn’t give me notice?

  • If you have not been provided with a Form 42, or other written notice about your detention, the legal requirements of the Mental Health Act have not been met and your detention is unlawful.


Can I apply to the Consent and Capacity Board to challenge the Form1?

  • No. You do not have the right to apply to the Consent and Capacity Board to challenge the doctor's decision to place you on a Form 1.


Do I get rights advice on a Form 1?

  • No. When you are on a Form 1 you do not receive rights advice.


What happens after the Form 1?

  • Within the 72-hour period for which you are detained, the doctor must decide to do one of the following:
    • Release you,
    • Make you an informal or voluntary patient;
    • Make you an involuntary patient.
      • If the doctor decides to admit you as an involuntary patient, you will be placed on a Form 3 (Certificate of Involuntary Admission). You will be given a Form 30 (Notice to Patient) which is your notice of a change in your legal status. At this point you will receive a visit from a rights adviser and further information regarding your rights will be provided.



  • If you have questions, contact your local Patient Advocate or Rights Adviser or call the central office of the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office at 1-800-578-2343