Blog posts related to mental health services in Victoria, BC:
PES: The Dead Canaries are Piling Up
Describes how many of the problems being reported at PES are rooted in deeper systems issues. Inadequate access to psychiatric care has led to PES being a choke point for the entire system.
Victoria’s Mental Health Access Crisis (FP Survey Results)
Results of a survey of family doctors about challenges providing mental health care to their patients. Extremely limited access to psychiatry (especially ongoing care) and therapists are key problems. Family docs are left trying to manage patients far too complex for primary care.
Demand Ownership and Accountability
While people like to talk about funding shortfalls and grand initiatives, there’s nobody tasked with improving access. A good starting point would be far more transparency and openness about the current state of the system. That means collecting and publishing real metrics, no matter how ugly.
More Access to Essential Psychotherapy
While there are calls to open MSP billing to therapists, there are also more modest efforts that can be pursued. Expanded access to DBT, building on the successes of CBT skills and BCalm groups, would have a large impact.
Psychiatrists: Recruit, Retain, Rebalance
Better access to psychiatry is one area where funding isn’t the main problem. Recruitment and retention is a hot mess that nobody is responsible for, despite the obvious benefits. Better distributing the care psychiatrists provide is also critical. There’s some very juicy low-hanging fruit we need to grab.