The results of CMHA BC’s “Help Shape the Future” survey will be shared with decision-makers to help build a system of care that meets British Columbians’ needs
The Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division (CMHA BC) is calling on British Columbians to help advocate for a more responsive and timely system of mental health and addictions care by completing a short survey. The results of this survey will be shared with decision-makers to help them better understand and consider what members of the public see as important areas of focus in the months ahead.
The survey builds on the momentum of CMHA BC’s ongoing b4stage4 campaign and five point declaration for better mental health and addictions care in BC. Launched in October 2016 as the cornerstone of CMHA BC’s campaign, the declaration laid out a set of concrete and practical actions to improve the lives of people living with mental health and addictions problems.
“Our b4stage4 campaign is based on the belief that mental health should be treated the same as any other health issues, and that people should not have to wait until they are in crisis to get care” says CMHA BC’s CEO Bev Gutray.
Thousands have signed the b4stage4 declaration, which calls for action in five areas:
- focus on prevention and early intervention
- build an accessible addictions health care system
- strengthen recovery closer to home
- improve crisis care
- lead change in mental health and addiction
Since CMHA BC’s b4stage4 declaration was launched, a new Provincial government has taken office and has made a commitment to providing early intervention services for people experiencing the first signs and symptoms of a mental health or substance use problem.
CMHA BC welcomes the new government’s promise to put people at the centre of their decision-making and its commitment to prevention and early intervention. This aligns with the central tenet of the b4stage4 campaign which advocates for addressing mental illness and problem substance use earlier as a means of reducing the progression and severity of symptoms and improving quality of life.
“We need to step up our efforts to provide early, easily accessible interventions to people with emerging symptoms — like our health care system does for other illnesses. Consider how our care system responds to illnesses like cancer, heart disease and diabetes,” continues Gutray. “We educate, screen and take action early. People aren’t forced to wait for care because we understand that quick treatment is critical to recovery. It’s time to put in place a similar approach for mental health and addictions. We need to improve access to mental health and substance use supports when people first need them.”
CMHA BC is encouraging British Columbians to share their input by completing the short Help Shape the Future survey before August 31, 2017. The results will be shared with the public and decision-makers so they understand what British Columbians see as the best ways to intervene earlier when people face mental health and substance use problems.
The survey can be accessed at http://bit.ly/2f20CGD.
For more information on the b4stage4 campaign and to sign the declaration go to www.b4stage4.ca.
About the Canadian Mental Health Association
Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada. Through a presence in hundreds of neighbourhoods across every province, CMHA provides advocacy and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive. For mental health and addiction information and resources visit www.cmha.bc.ca.
Communications Coordinator – Media, CMHA BC Division
P: 604-688-3234 ext. 6326