Frequently Asked Questions about Mental Health

1.  If I/my relative or my friend is suicidal, what should I do?

If you are concerned about someone being suicidal, there are several ways to find assistance:

  • If you feel that the individual is in immediate danger do NOT leave him or her alone. Take him or her to the nearest hospital emergency room or call the police/RCMP immediately.
  • The following 24 hour crisis lines are available to Manitobans across the province:
    • Manitoba Suicide Line 1-877-435-7170
    • Klinic (786-8686 or 1-888-322-3019)
    • Kids Help Phone (1-800-668-6868) (national line available to all Manitoba youth)
  • Crisis lines and mobile crisis teams are available in some Manitoba communities. Click here for a list of these services.
  • See our Links web page for other suicide prevention sites.

2.  Where/how can I access mental health services in Winnipeg and the rest of Manitoba?

There is a person in each region who can answer your questions about accessing mental health services in your community. Please contact your Regional Health Authority to request this information.

3.  What mental health community supports are available?

See the links available on this Web site for the mental health organizations in Manitoba. You may also contact the individual Regional Health Authorities to request more information about the mental health supports available in your community.

4.  I am not happy with the mental health service I/my family member is receiving.  What can I do?

Ideally, you should contact your service provider. If you feel your concerns are not being addressed through this avenue, please contact your Regional Health Authority.

5.  How do I get my friend or family member help?

If you believe that your friend is suffering from a mental health problem, there are a number of options available to you. You could take your friend to see a family physician. You could also contact the Mental Health Director or Manager in your Regional Health Authority for assistance. 

6.  How do I get my friend or family member into hospital?

Should you believe that your family member requires an admission to a psychiatric facility in Manitoba, there are three options available to you:

  1. The most common option is to take your family member to his or her physician, or, if he or she doesn’t have one, to a walk-in clinic for a medical examination. If the situation is urgent, you may take your friend or relative to the emergency room of a general hospital, preferably where the person's Psychiatrist attends or where the person is known (if applicable).
  2. The second most common option is to go before a Justice for the Province of Manitoba (Justice of the Peace or Magistrate) to apply for an order that your family member be medically examined. You must appear in person and complete, under oath, an Application for an Order for Involuntary Medical Examination (Form #1 under The Mental Health Act). You do not need a lawyer to do this. If you are unsure where to locate your Justice of the Peace, call your local RHA or police detachment.
  3. Finally, where an urgent situation does not allow for the first two options, the police have the authority to take a person for a medical examination if they believe the circumstances warrant doing so.

If the physician performing the medical examination believes that an involuntary psychiatric assessment is warranted, he or she can complete an Application by Physician for Involuntary Psychiatric Assessment (Form #4 under The Mental Health Act) which authorizes that an individual be taken to a psychiatric facility for an assessment by a psychiatrist.

In order for an individual to be involuntarily admitted, the medical opinions of the physician and the psychiatrist must concur.

7.  Where can I find a Psychiatrist?

A Psychiatrist is a physician with specialty training in psychiatry who has expertise in the assessment, diagnosis, and management of individuals with psychiatric disorders. You can find a Psychiatrist by requesting a referral from your family physician.

8.  Where can I get psychiatric medication?

Only a physician can prescribe psychiatric medication. You can take your prescription to be filled at any pharmacy, including the ones available in larger grocery stores.

9.  Where are the psychiatric facilities in Manitoba located?

Psychiatric facilities (where psychiatric services are offered in whole or in part) in Manitoba include the following:

10.  I am an involuntary patient in a psychiatric facility and I disagree with my treatment and feel that I am being held against my will.  What avenues of appeal do I have?

Involuntary patients can ask hospital ward staff for a Patient's Application to Mental Health Review Board (Form #18 under The Mental Health Act). They can also contact the Mental Health Review Board directly to obtain an application:

Mental Health Review Board
102 – 500 Portage Avenue
Business Hours:  8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Telephone: (204) 945-6050
Toll-free: 1-855-630-5362
Fax: (204) 948-2024

11.  Where can I find a Psychologist?

Clinical Psychologists provide science-based non-pharmacological interventions (e.g. psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioural therapy, behavioural therapy, interpersonal therapy) for treatment and rehabilitation of mental and physical health conditions, behaviour change, health promotion and illness prevention. Clinical Psychologists also conduct assessments of cognitive and intellectual functions, memory, personality, and for diagnosis of mental disorders. Clinical Psychologists may also engage in clinical research.

Referrals to, or inquiries about, service from clinical psychologists in the public health care system can be made by accessing the Department of Clinical Health Psychology Centre Intake Line at:  (204) 787-7424. Physicians or other health professionals can send direct referrals to the following fax number:  (204) 787-3755.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has additional information about psychological services listed on their website, which also includes a downloadable brochure in both French and English at:

Psychological services can also be accessed through private practices. These services are typically offered at a cost to the individual, however insurance plans for extended health benefits through employment may cover a portion or all of the cost for private psychological services. Individuals should inquire with their insurance providers about their coverage. Individuals can find a listing of psychologists and their treatment specialties in the yellow pages or by searching an online directory of clinical psychologists in private practice on the Manitoba Psychological Society website at

12.  How do I access social assistance and better housing?  How can I get a telephone and bus pass?

You can call the general inquiry line of Manitoba Families at (204) 948-4000, where you will be directed to the Employment and Income Assistance office closest to you.

In some cases the Manitoba Government Inquiry line @ (204) 945-3744 (1-866-626-4862) can be helpful when a specific phone number is required. For more information about the mental health services available in your community, please contact your local RHA.

For more specific questions and answers about The Mental Health Act, please click here.


Users are reminded that the original Acts or Regulations should be consulted for all purposes of applying and interpreting the law. For more information, please consult the Queen's Printer.