On Sept. 20, the BC Union of Municipalities (UBCM) endorsed resolution B121: that the provincial government immediately begin to undertake all necessary action, including funding, to reinstate Riverview as a patient-centred, wrap-around-care modern centre of excellence for mental health care and support.
The BC Schizophrenia Society (BCSS) endorses the BCUM’s resolution and advocates a halt from the present de facto policy of moving mentally ill people into the criminal justice system and discharging vulnerable mental health patients from hospital to street.
The BCSS further asks that the Riverside property be set aside for the creation of a therapeutic community to support the treatment of people suffering from severe and persistent mental illnesses, to provide rehabilitation in a community which includes cottage style congregate housing, a campus community affiliated with B.C. universities and colleges, and a safe haven for those who do not respond to current treatments.
These visions for Riverview would not be for everyone dealing with mental illness, but they would fill a much-needed vacuum faced by many of our loved ones who are presently left to fend for themselves in a very harsh world. Such a community would provide high quality medical care, psychological therapy and recovery time in a protective environment allowing for intellectual and professional growth.
Premier Christy Clark has rejected these and other requests that Riverview be reopened. In addition, all provincial mental health services, including those at St. Mary’s, have recently received significant budget cuts.
I urge everyone, and especially those whose family and friends have been affected by mental illness, to write Premier Clark expressing their support for and endorsement of UBCM’s and BCSS’s stand on Riverview’s future, and copy their letters to their MLA, the BCSS and UBCM: Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia, Box 9041, Station Prov Gov’t, Victoria, B.C., email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebecca Pavitt,?member, BCSS Sunshine Coast branch?