Media Advisory - Mental Health Focus of Justice Conference

CALGARY, March 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Dealing with individuals who have mental illness and have also come into contact with the criminal justice system is one of the biggest issues facing those working in the justice system today. Police officers responding to calls, judges hearing cases and guards dealing with inmates already have highly demanding jobs as it is.

Deputy Chief Judge Allan Lefever of the Provincial Court of Alberta will be one of the key note speakers at a one day workshop exploring these issues in Edmonton on Friday March 5. The event, titled 'Mental Health on the Frontlines of Justice,' is jointly organized by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the Alberta Criminal Justice Association.

Professionals, researchers and students from across sectors of justice, health, education and social services will be attending to develop a greater understanding of the issues and learn about practices and ideas for dealing with people with a mental illness.

Other speakers include Dr. Patrick Baillie, Forensic Psychologist, who will talk about stigma and other barriers to treatment, and the Honourable Justice Schneider who will focus on mental health in court. Micheal Pietrus with the Mental Health Commission of Canada will also present, as well as three individuals who have firsthand experience of mental health and the justice system.

    Who:   Leading experts in the fields of justice and mental health

    Where: Santa Maria Goretti Center, 11050-90th Street N.W., Edmonton, AB
           T5H 1S5

    When:  Friday, March 5, 2010, 8.30a.m - 4.30p.m
           - please call in advance to set up interview times for Friday

The MHCC is a non-profit organization created to focus national attention on mental health issues. It is funded by the federal government but operates at arm's length from all levels of government. The Commission's objective is to enhance the health and social outcomes for Canadians living with mental health problems and illnesses. The Commission is working on four key initiatives including Opening Minds, a national anti-stigma initiative.

SOURCE Mental Health Commission of Canada

For further information: For further information: and interview requests contact: Karleena Suppiah, Communications Specialist, (403) 385-4050 or (403) 370-3835 (cell),

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