Ontario Logo

Sara, Court Support Worker, multi-service agency, northern Ontario region

Sara, Court Support Worker, multi-service agency, northern Ontario region

We provide court support, case management, and education to court personnel such as lawyers, judges, and we provide forensic psychiatric services through a psychiatrist who comes down once a month for two days and completes psychiatric assessments for the courts.

A lawyer may call me up and say, "I believe this person may have some sort of mental health concern, can you go and see them", so then I will provide support for them. Other times my clients can be incarcerated three or four months and we don't realize they are there until I actually sit in court and the red flags go off, for instance I may notice them reacting to some sort of stimulation around them.

We do not divert individuals that have serious offenses, such as murder, sexual assault, robbery, drinking and driving or aggravated assault. For all other client's with mental health issues, I will provide court support and help them upon release with basic living skills, finding a home, getting income, that sort of thing.

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and then got a social work degree and worked at the Elizabeth Fry Society, and then I did a placement at a mental health centre.

I get a satisfaction from helping people with mental health issues, and even when I can't help them resolve their legal issues, I am the type of person who advocates till the bitter end, and I won't take no for an answer and even if the door keeps closing on me, I will keep advocating and trying to get some sort of services for my client.

I would like to stay in the mental health field, I would enjoy staying in this position for as long as possible.