Designated Facilities & Formal Patients

Mental Health Act

Designated Facilities

Designated facilities are places designated in the Mental Health Act Forms and Designation Regulation as a facility for the purposes of the Mental Health Act (MHA). Designated facilities are the only facilities that can admit and detain someone as a formal patient under the MHA. For a current list of designated facilities, see the Government of Alberta page on Detention, treatment and care while in a mental health facility. No hospitals or sites outside those listed in the regulation have the authority to detain a person as a formal patient.

Formal Patients

A person becomes a formal patient when they are detained in a designated facility pursuant to the issuance of two admission certificates or two renewal certificates (these two certificates are called “sets”).

  • An admission certificate set requires at least one physician and at least one facility staff.
  • A renewal certificate set requires at least one psychiatrist and at least one facility staff.

The following information and links will assist with the process of formal patient certification.

Pathways for Examinations at a Designated Facility