Frames of Mind

Remarkable… As Depardon’s proudly humane film makes all too clear, there, but for the grace of God, go we all.”

Geoff Andrew, Sight and Sound

Every year in France, close to 100,000 people are placed under psychiatric care without their consent. In an attempt to find a better balance between the protection of patient’s rights and the need for treatment, a new mental health law was enacted there in 2013 whereby all patients involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital must appear before a judge within 12 days. Informed by medical records and a doctor’s recommendations, the judge conducts these interviews within the hospital itself, meeting face to face with patients who plead their cases with varying degrees of desperation and lucidity. Given full access to film these encounters for the first time, legendary filmmaker and photographer Raymond Depardon trains his empathetic lens on the place where psychiatry and justice meet, giving a voice to those who have gone unheard.

Rarely has a filmmaker been able to document madness in such a direct way, with Depardon showing extreme compassion in how he captures patients pouring their hearts out to the judge, in a sort of legal confessional.” Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter

Note: People in B.C. requiring hospital treatment for mental disorders can be involuntarily detained under the Mental Health Act. People can challenge that decision by requesting a review panel hearing. A review panel consists of three appointed members of the Mental Health Review Board: a physician member, a legal member, and a community member. The review panel decides whether the patient’s certification should continue after hearing opposing arguments from a representative of the mental health facility (usually the treating psychiatrist) and the patient (who has the right to request free legal representation at the hearing by a representative of the Mental Health Law Program).

Post-screening discussion with Dr. Ken Chow, Doug LePard, David Mossop, and Dale Pope.

Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

Media
Note

Kenmau (Ken) Chow, MD is an experienced physician member of the Mental Health Review Board who currently also works at Royal Columbian Hospital, Timber Creek Mental Health Facility, Surrey/North Delta ACT Team, and WorkSafeBC. He was a longtime Riverview Hospital staff member until its closure.

Doug LePard, OOM is a retired police chief, a community member of the Mental Health Review Board, and sits on the Board of Emergency Health Services. He has a BA in Criminology from Simon Fraser University and an MA in Criminal Justice from the University of the Fraser Valley. Since retirement from policing, he has been a criminal justice system consultant.

David Mossop, KC, is a retired lawyer who acts as a designated paralegal for patients in front of the Mental Health Review Board. During his four-decade career with the Community Legal Assistance Society, he has appeared in front of over 34 different types of courts and tribunals, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Dale Pope, KC, is a longstanding legal member of the Mental Health Review Board. He holds an LLB and a BA from the University of Windsor, and is currently a senior practicing lawyer with expertise in litigation, administrative law, alternative dispute resolution and adjudicative decision making.