Clients who are not citizens can come in conflict with the law, jeopardizing their ability to reside in Canada. Assisting these people is the focus of a new resource.
“Mental Illness, Criminal Offences, & Deportation” is presented by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO). It is available in HTML or PDF formats.
For someone who is not a citizen of Canada, a criminal conviction could affect their immigration status, the document notes. Even a permanent resident who has lived in Canada for many years could lose their status and be deported.
The publication uses the term “mental illness” to refer to a condition that “affects how someone thinks, feels, or behaves” and has a serious impact on their ability to function effectively. Examples include depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, personality disorder and addiction.
Diversion programs may be available to a client. People with mental health issues who face criminal charges may be referred to mental health services and supports, and avoid going through the criminal justice system.