BCNU supports call for long term mental health strategy
In a media release, the BC Nurses’ Union said it supports the Union of BC Municipalities in calling for the provincial government to create a comprehensive mental health strategy.
BCNU President Gayle Duteil said in the release that there is an urgent need for better services.
“The mental health care system in BC is in crisis,” Duteil said.
“Patients and their families lack support in dealing with mental health issues, and insufficient numbers of staff for programs and services means nurses struggle to provide safe patient care.”
The BCNU said delegates at the UBCM convention passed a resolution requesting the province “develop a long term, multi-faceted strategy to help people suffering from mental health and addiction issues…” and the government should ensure “the level of resourcing and facilities for providing mental health and addiction services are increased through the province, to allow for improved access and treatment for those suffering from mental health issues, including addictions.”
In June, BCNU raised the alarm about problems at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital, where youth in crisis were spending more than 100 hours in the ER while waiting for a bed in the psychiatric unit.
Once admitted, they’re forced to share a unit with adult patients, who may have sexually inappropriate behaviour or other serious problems.
Duteil says too many vulnerable youth are slipping through the cracks of an inadequate mental health care system in BC and, “the current system where the police and criminal justice system have become the default care provider for many people with serious mental health issues, has a great human and financial cost.”
The story originated at The Nelson Daily.