The following was sent to Health Minister Terry Lake and copied to Coast Reporter.
I am writing in support of Victoria Maxwell’s letter (Coast Reporter, July 26).
I am a director of the Arrowhead Clubhouse Society that is also a victim of the short-sighted cuts taking place at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH).
Arrowhead is a clubhouse for adults suffering from severe chronic mental illness. It is committed to implementing the “work-ordered day” concept championed by the Clubhouse International objective of “helping people with mental illness stay out of hospitals while achieving social, financial, educational and vocational goals.”
Arrowhead is supported by funding from BC Housing, but this funding is insufficient to allow us to operate on a full-time basis. We receive absolutely no funding from VCH in spite of the direct support that we provide to approximately 50 per cent of their clients, therefore assisting them in reducing their costs.
Full-time opening is critical to achieving our goals of providing opportunities to develop life and pre-employment skills, which will allow members who are capable to become productive and independent in our community.
The support provided to people with mental illness by agencies like Arrowhead is far more cost effective than attempts to provide this support within the corporate model of our formal health care system. There are alternative ways of doing this that are already in place, but they are being sacrificed in favour of maintaining the status quo.
We would hope, as the new Minister in charge of health care in our province, that you will bring some fresh new thinking on how best to provide these services as we move forward.
Brian Smith, director
Arrowhead Clubhouse Society