Vancouver Sun, March 23, 2023
Can BC Promises Heal Gaping Wounds in Mental Health & Addictions?
“Many of the Opposition’s concerns are echoed by SFU psychologist Julian Somers, UBC psychiatrist John Higenbottam, a former vice-president of Riverview, and a former head of Riverview, Alex Berland, who wrote in Inroads about the agony of implementing the NDP’S idealistic but failed de-instutionalization policy of 1998.
Since the NDP have been in power for six years, Somers said it sounded like the government’s commitment to creating an “integrated” system is only just beginning.
Like Sturko, Somers notes the numbers on homelessness, opioid deaths, suicide and untreated mental illness keep going up. As a leading researcher, he is profoundly frustrated the NDP have fallen short providing evidence of their programs’ effectiveness.
Higenbottam, who was also vice-president at Vancouver General Hospital, is concerned the B.C. government’s new pledges are “very general.”
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