BC United Leader Kevin Falcon has announced his plan to both overhaul the delivery of mental health services, and build a recovery-oriented system of care for those suffering from addiction.
“Over 40 years, successive BC governments closed down a rightly criticized institutional approach to mental health without ensuring an adequate system of supports were available for former patients in communities. It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing.”
— Kevin Falcon, Leader of BC United
Kevin Falcon and his team will be using the strategies below as the foundation for a culturally appropriate, true system of care should they form government after the next election:
Affordable, Accessible Treatment Now
Affordable and accessible treatment: Eliminate user fees at publicly funded addiction treatment beds and provide direct government funding for private beds through surge capacity agreements to ensure no-one faces financial barriers to treatment.
Recovery communities: Build a minimum of five regional recovery communities for addiction treatment where residents can stay for up to a year with individualized, holistic, long-term residential treatment including Indigenous specific care.
Treatment on demand: Create a virtual opioid dependency program to ensure immediate access to lifesaving medications like suboxone or methadone for those who don’t have a doctor and can’t get into a walk-in clinic.
Comprehensive care: Building on the model of the Single Parent Employment Initiative, support those struggling with addiction with residential treatment, counselling and job training for one year.
Corrections and rehabilitation: Designate living units inside correctional centres as treatment centres staffed with therapists alongside corrections officers. This will allow inmates to participate in addiction treatment while their sentence is served and improve the chances of re-integration into society following their sentence.
Compassionate Care for Complex Mental Health Needs
Complex mental health support: Triple the beds at the Red Fish Healing Centre at Riverview and build additional regional centres using that model in the North, Thompson-Okanagan, Kootenays and Vancouver Island to ensure those requiring highly specialized mental health support can receive it close to home.
Compassionate involuntary treatment: Bring forward legislation allowing the limited use of involuntary treatment to keep our most vulnerable youth and adults at risk of harm to themselves or others safe at modernized, compassionate facilities with 24/7 psychiatric and medical supports.
Homelessness: We endorse the plan proposed by Dr. Julian Somers of Simon Fraser University in July 2021, providing an effective roadmap to address street homelessness with a focus on evidence-based services, partnerships with Indigenous organizations, and a highly effective model of person-centred services.
Awareness & Prevention
Awareness & prevention: Create and deliver youth-focused public education campaigns about addiction and recovery and establish workplace campaigns to assist employers in recognizing substance use disorders and better supporting employees in recovery.
System navigation: Create programs to support families struggling with addiction recovery system navigation, general questions, and supports for impacted family members. These programs would provide therapy and ongoing support as they work to help their loved one recover.
Data and transparency: Establish detailed data systems to track provincewide performance measures and targets and clearly benchmark the number of publicly funded mental health and addiction treatment beds available to British Columbians. This will measure performance outcomes and ensure standardization of care.
British Columbians deserve a true system of care. Sign our petition if you agree: