Canadian Mental Health Association launched its five-point mental health and addictions care manifesto in Oak Bay this morning.

Canadian Mental Health Association launched its five-point mental health and addictions care manifesto in Oak Bay this morning.

Canadian Mental Health Association calls on Victoria to support health care changes

Year-long b4stage4 campaign lays out concrete and practical actions to improve mental health and addictions care

The Canadian Mental Health Association launched its five-point mental health and addictions care manifesto in Oak Bay this morning.

“It has only been in the last number of years I think that we’ve actually seen people recognizing mental illness for what it really is, it is a medical issue. It’s not as visible as a broken leg, but it has the same, if not more impact on our community,” said Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen. “It will become clear this is a blueprint for change and a blueprint for moving forward. This is something that is region wide, it isn’t just Victoria and it isn’t just Oak Bay.”

The five-point plan calls for focus on prevention and early intervention; build access to addictions health care; strengthen recovery closer to home, in community; improve crisis care;  and lead change in mental health and addictions.

As part of its year-long b4stage4 campaign, the manifesto lays out a set of concrete and practical actions to improve the lives of people living with mental health and addictions problems. The launch is a call to action for Greater Victoria to endorse CMHA’s recommendations for mental health and physical health to be valued equally.

“It touches all of the communities. We have 13 mayors here, we’re all going to be gathering as part of the Nov. 28 to 30 conference. and I think we all recognize the need for action because it touches all of our communities,” Jensen said. “In some communities perhaps it’s more visible particularly where we have significant amount of homeless people but it happens in the affluent areas too. Certainly as mayor I’ve come to know people who are in the throws of addiction in our neighbourhoods. They’re not as visible as they would be in other communities, but the problem is there and it is something that this manifesto … attempts to deal with.”

The Canadian Mental Health Association calls for community organizations, academic institutions, professional associations, labour organizations, elected officials and business leaders to value mental health and addiction care equally to physical health care. The CMHA manifesto says it’s time to focus on prevention, early identification and early intervention. Currently, people wait too long for care and too many people get their care from emergency departments and police. “We can offer proven choices and supports to help people recover—clinical services, medications, peer supports, counselling, family supports, and other therapies. And keep people connected to their families and their community. Intervening as early as possible preserves a person’s education, employment, social supports, housing—and It also costs less than the tragic revolving door of incarceration, hospitalization, and homelessness,” the manifesto reads.

CMHA BC calls for creation of a standardized, compassionate, and evidence-based system of care, for people living with addictions problems.

More than 1,200 people have signed on to b4stage4 since the provincial launch on Oct. 11. Greater Victoria has the third-greatest number of overdose deaths in the province, next to Vancouver and Surrey.

 

Vancouver Island continues to have the worst rate of illicit drug-overdose deaths in the province in 2016, with a fatality rate of 18.5 deaths per 100,000 to the end of September. Island Health saw the largest increase in its fatality rate — 137 per cent — compared to 2015.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich police are investigating property damage at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Police seek info after fence torn down, dumped over embankment in Saanich

Christmas Hill restoration site fence destroyed sometime between Jan. 16 and 18

(Pxhere)
Mill Bay nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

A single-vehicle collision involving a driver who struck the median on McKenzie Avenue at Carey Road interrupted morning traffic on Jan. 21. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Single-vehicle crash interrupts morning traffic in Saanich

Incident was minor, no significant injuries reported, firefighter says

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

(File)
Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

(File Photo)
Interior Health says COVID positivity rates in Fernie area actually 10-12%

IH say the rates are not as high as previously claimed by the region’s top doctor

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Most Read