B.C.’s new vision

B.C.’s new vision for mental health and addictions care

A Pathway to Hope: A roadmap for making mental health and addictions care better for people in British Columbia  charts a course to an improved future for health and well-being in B.C. 

This new strategy lays out government’s 10-year vision for mental health and substance use care, in which people living in B.C.’s mental health and well-being are supported from youth to adulthood and programs and services are available to tackle challenges early on.

It also identifies priority actions the government will be taking over the next three years to help people experiencing mental health or substance use challenges right now, to promote wellness and prevent existing problems from getting worse. This roadmap of both short and long-term changes to B.C.’s mental health and addictions care system is based on four pillars:

  • Wellness promotion and prevention
  • Seamless and integrated care
  • Equitable access to culturally safe and effective care
  • Indigenous health and wellness

A Pathway to Hope is a plan to begin transforming B.C.’s mental health and substance use service system from its current crisis-response approach to a system based on wellness promotion, prevention and early intervention where people are connected to culturally safe and effective care when they need it. At its heart, it represents a new way forward for B.C. built on compassion, care and the perspectives of people with lived experience of mental health and substance use challenges, that breaks down barriers and meets people where they’re at.

#mentalhealth #addiction #mentalwellbeing #peaceofmind #bccanada

Homelessness During COVID – Disaster Amplified

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In any given year, there are about 235,000 Canadians that suffer from homelessness. That’s about 0.625% of the total population, a statistically “small” minority, which is, unfortunately, seeing its woes compounded due to winter and COVID.  

Homeless people rely on shelters to provide them a place to sleep and stay, especially during the cold winter nights when staying outside or in a makeshift shelter can be deadly disastrous. So it’s only logical that the shelters try to accommodate as many people as possible.

But that’s impossible due to COVID cases spreading. To mitigate the probability of transmission, shelters have reduced the number of people they take in. Needless to say, this is a significant blow to the homeless population of the country because during the second wave, more and more people are seeking shelter and less space is available. The lifting of the eviction ban has also added fuel to the fire.

To make matters worse, some shelter homes are being forced to close down or have been working at reduced capacity because the staff and residents have contracted the virus.

People are aware of the problem and are doing what little they can to remediate the situation like staging protests and urging the government to ramp up support. And shelters are using glass dividers in between beds to reduce the probability of transmission in close confines.

We can take lessons from international solutions to this problem, such as accommodating homeless populations in unused hotels (since the travel business is already suffering) or taking measures to contain homeless people to designated areas (by providing necessary amenities and shelter) to mitigate the possibility of transmission.