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.

 

 

Just Posted

Free firework safety courses coming to the West Shore right before Halloween

No permit? You could be fined anywhere between $100 and $10,000

Fairfield-Gonzales residents aim to establish senior care phone line

The Fairfield-Gonzales Village would allow seniors living alone to have a direct line to resources

Vendors open doors to new futures at Black Press Extreme Education & Career Fair

More tham two dozen employers, educators signed on for Victoria event

Persons Day to be marked with literary readings in Sidney

Peninsula authors to read from their new books relating to women and courageous journeys, Oct. 18

Antimatter 2019: The best in experimental media art comes to Victoria

22nd annual festival of film, performance art and more biggest ever – 120 artists, 30 countries

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Dog killed in alleged hit and run, Goodlife Marathon takes over city and more

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

Most Read