Wednesday, April 10, 2013

In The Midst Of All Our Plenty...A Decade Of Children Going Down.


The latest from B.C’s Representative for Children and Youth makes it clear that we are still not doing enough to help those that need our help most.

Lindsay Kines of the VTC, who consistently does the best reporting on this issue, has the story. 

Here is a small chunk of his latest:

...(The representative, Mary Ellen) Turpel-Lafond said the lengthy waits for service point to a lack of resources. She found too few acute-care beds in hospitals and a severe shortage of treatment options in the community.

“It has become obvious to the representative that the mental-health system for children and youth in B.C. is actually not a system at all, but rather a patchwork of services that is inconsistent from region to region and community to community,” the report states. “It is confusing for youth, their families and even the professionals who serve them, and therefore, actually getting the required services is often near to impossible.”

The report follows recent reports in Greater Victoria of children with mental health issues being sent home from Victoria General Hospital despite being in obvious distress...

And the news release from the Representative tells us, and we very much hope the next government of British Columbia, how we can start rectify the situation:

...Key systemic deficiencies identified include a lack of acute emergency care for transition-age youth which often sees them with no appropriate place to go when they are in crisis, a lack of community-based intensive intermediate supports, and a lack of mental health education, support and respite services for parents and caregivers.

The Representative recommends the creation of a Minister of State for Youth Mental Health to ensure that government provides adequate resources and that services are properly coordinated and available consistently across the province. Included in that recommendation is a call for a three-year operational plan, with immediate improvements to direct services in emergency, acute and community-based intensive intermediate care as well as a move to more youth-friendly engagement and service delivery models...


Doing this properly will not be easy, quick or cheap.

And it most definitely will not be be accomplished by winning a PR war or running a boffo ad campaign.


The entire report can be found here... And please remember, it was Ms. Clark and her BC Liberal government colleagues who just a few months ago broke a promise and held up the Representative's work (again) when they cancelled the fall sitting of the legislature....In other words, there are real, actual consequences to having a government that focusses endlessly on campaigning rather than governing...


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