Mental Health, Policy & Law

For many years I have been involved in a variety of mental health/legal work in a range of roles as follows:

Currently I work as a Crown Attorney with the Public Prosecution Service, specifically as Crown Attorney with the Mental Health Court and Court Monitored Drug Treatment Program in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

I also do regular co-teaching for psychiatry students at Dalhousie University on the topic of involuntary treatment.

Between March 2013 and June 2015 I worked as a solicitor and barrister in private practice.

Over the years I have specialized in health law and policy with a focus on mental health law.

  • Appointed to the Canadian Mental Health Association (National) Board of Directors - December 2013 to present (http://www.cmha.ca/about-cmha/board-of-directors/ - requires updating);

  • Appointed as Vice-Chair, Canadian Mental Health Association, Nova Scotia - October 2015 - October 2016;
  • Appointed to sit as a Chairperson on the Review Panel of the Involutary Psychiatric Treatment Act - June 2013 - June 2016.
  • Appointed to the Canadian Mental Health Association national Public Policy Working Group - February 2013 - 2015;

  • Appointed to the Board of Directors of the Canadian Mental Health Association (Nova Scotia Division) - June 2011 to present;

  • Appointed to the Review Board of the Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act, Nova Scotia - April 2011.

  • Appointed to the Mental Health and the Law Advisory Committee of the Mental Health Commission of Canada - December 2010 - June 2013;

  • Appointed to the Canadian Mental Health Association national Finance & Audit Committee - January 2014 to October 2014

  • Member of the adjudication panel for the Community Capacity category for the MHCC 5th Anniversary Mental Health Awards (2012);

  • Member of the adjudication panel of the SPARK (Supporting the Promotion of Activated Research and Knowledge) Training Institute (2012);

  • In November 2010 I presented at the Nova Scotia All Courts Education Seminar (National Judicial Institute of Canada) in Halifax . In the same month I was also one of the speakers at the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia annual conference.

  • In April 2010 I was selected to participate in the development of the new mental health strategy for Canada, with the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

  • From 2008 to 2011 I was on the Board of Directors of Healty Minds Co-operative in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

  • Between January 2007 and December 2009 I worked with the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London, being a member of their Jurisdictions Committee (policy development within Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), Central Policy Co-ordination Committee (policy development throughout the UK) and Service Users Recovery Forum.

"Thank you for sharing your expertise in this forum and supporting our aims of pursuing high quality patient care" (Cath MacDonald, Quality Initiatives Manager, Royal College of General Practitioners (Scotland)).

  • In March 2009 I was chosen to attend the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership, an exchange and network meeting in Auckland, New Zealand and Brisbane, Australia.

aileen koala

 

For many years I was involved with HUG (now Spirit Advocacy) in Inverness and was involved in many activities and projects, for example:

  • providing opinions and suggestions on a variety of consultation documents and reports

  • planning and policy development

  • development of the service user (consumer) movement

  • providing comment on local and national mental health strategy documents

  • working with focus groups

  • educational work in schools

  • mental health awareness training programmes

"Aileen is committed, passionate, rational, tolerant, respectful of others, willing to laugh about the worst of situations, happy to support and keep on supporting those who are struggling in their daily life, expressive, creative and fun to be with." (Graham Morgan, MBE, HUG, Inverness)

Memberships:

Board of Directors - Canadian Mental Health Association (National)

British Psychological Society (MBPsS)

The Law Society of Scotland

Nova Scotia Barristers Society