John Horgan says he’ll improve mental health and addictions services people count on

NDP Leader John Horgan on Monday said that he will establish a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions to help people suffering from mental illness or addictions, as part of the BC NDP’s commitment to improve the services people count on.

“After years of BC Liberal neglect, we will improve BC’s mental health system by increasing access and investing in early prevention and intervention,” said Horgan. “People need to know they only have to ask for help once to get help fast.”

Horgan emphasized his commitment to reopening facilities for intensive residential care and treatment at Riverview. Residents, advocates, and local governments have all called for the lands to be used for mental health and addictions treatment.

Six in 10 people who struggle with addiction also experience other mental health challenges. John Horgan and the BC NDP will bring those services together to help those most in need by:

  • Creating a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions which will work with the ministries of children and families and health, the First Nations Health Authority, and the public education and justice systems, to make sure people get timely and effective treatment.
  • Implementing an “ask once, get help fast” approach to mental health and additions.
  • Re-opening facilities at Riverview in consultation with local First Nations to provide residential care for people who need it.
  • Supporting students in the school system with access to specially trained adolescent mental health professionals, leading to healthier lives and prevention of a lifetime of illness.
  • Taking meaningful action to address the overdose crisis including a province-wide strategy to distribute life-saving Naloxone kits, support for police efforts to disrupt the supply of dangerous drugs, and support for first responders suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and other work-related stress.