Furstenau releases B.C. Green plan to integrate mental healthcare into our public healthcare system

October 05, 2020

VICTORIA B.C. – Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens, released the party’s plan for mental health. The plan would invest $1 billion to incorporate mental health services under MSP.

“Mental health issues are affecting increasing numbers of British Columbians and we need to treat it like any other health issue by properly resourcing it in our public system,” said Furstenau.

“Mental health care is failing at all levels, from early intervention for children and youth through to tertiary care for adults with complex psychological problems. The uncertainty and instability around the pandemic is placing increased psychological strain on us all. On top of that, young people are also facing compounding crises of climate change and affordability. Young people are the emerging leaders of our province and they should feel hopeful and excited about their future.

“For many patients, even just a few appointments with a psychologist  can significantly improve mental and physical health. We need to invest in mental health services at every stage of British Columbians’ lives so that they can be supported to live healthy, fulfilling lives.” 

The B.C. Greens Plan for mental health and wellbeing would:

  1. Invest to build an affordable and accessible mental healthcare system where cost is not a barrier to seeking help. The B.C. Greens would allocate $1.0 billion over a four-year cycle to address mental health issues within the medical services plan. Funding should be provided for a comprehensive suite of initiatives including:
    • Establishing accessible mental health treatment options for all those struggling with anxiety or depression.
    • Early intervention, youth mental health initiatives, integrated primary care specific to youth and mental health enabling families to easily navigate resources in a supportive environment.
    • Community based options for responding to those with mental health issues and their families such as Clubhouse International.
    • Enhanced counselling outreach services to work with the homeless community.

2. Invest in facilities to provide mental healthcare services and community-based centres for mental health and rehabilitation. Accelerate capital plans for the construction of tertiary care facilities and detoxification beds. Protect operating funding for facilities.

3. Develop and implement a Loneliness Strategy. 

4. Conduct a public information campaign to increase understanding of mental health issues and provide information on where to get help.

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BC Greens October 5 2020