AS the pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on British Columbians’ mental health, the BC Liberals are calling on the provincial government to provide a clear plan for more mental health supports in the upcoming Throne Speech and 2021 Budget.
“The anxiety and stress that many British Columbians are feeling are real,” said Trevor Halford, BC Liberal Mental Health and Addictions Critic, on Thursday. “This government needs to urgently commit more funds to mental health supports and we’re calling on John Horgan to provide a plan that clearly lays out how increased funding will be used to provide desperately needed support for British Columbians. People need real support that provides relief, not an online hub that doesn’t provide much more than a telephone number on how they can maybe get help. People need to know that if they call, they will get actual help.”
The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions’ latest offering is an inadequate hub that collates existing resources but doesn’t provide any actual support to those who need it, says the BC Liberals.
A barrier for many people, particularly working mothers who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, is the cost of counselling and the lack of resources throughout the province.
“It shouldn’t come down to choosing between groceries and school supplies or help with mental health,” said Halford. “We need to ensure we’re helping people deal with trauma and protecting their mental health, especially during a pandemic where many have also been hit hard financially. We need to eliminate barriers like wait times and affordability so that everyone who needs access to counselling and psychiatric services gets the help they need.”