Welcome to Tyee’s reader poll.

Tyee Poll: Should BC’s New Mental Health and Addictions Ministry Take Earlier Action to Help People in Crisis?

There is a clear opportunity sitting in front of all of us. If, together, we take the bold steps needed to improve mental health in our province, we can improve the lives of thousands of people across British Columbia.

It is time to focus on prevention, early identification and early intervention. We currently pay for a system of care in the most expensive ways possible. People wait too long for care and too many people get their care from emergency departments and from police.

We can offer proven choices and supports to help people recover — clinical services, medications, peer supports, counselling, family supports, and other therapies — and keep people connected to their families and their communities. Intervening as early as possible preserves a person’s education, employment, social supports, housing — and it also costs less than the tragic revolving door of incarceration, hospitalization, and homelessness.

The Canadian Mental Health Association BC is calling for community organizations, academic institutions, professional associations, labour organizations, elected officials and business leaders to value mental health and addiction care equally to physical health care. Help CMHA advocate for a system of care in B.C. that gives parity to mental health with physical health. Sign the b4stage4 declaration.

Do you have more to say? Take 5 minutes to add your voice to CMHA’s Help Shape the Future survey that will help decision-makers understand what British Columbians see as the best ways to intervene earlier for mental health and substance use problems. Our new government promises to “put people at the centre of their decision-making.” Your responses to this short survey will help them fulfill that promise.

* Please note that all poll answers will be publicly viewable, but anonymous.

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Please note that Tyee Barometer polls are only intended as a quick and engaging non-scientific snapshot of our readers' opinions on various topics that fit with The Tyee's very broad editorial mandate. They are not intended to be seen as a representative sampling of BC opinion.

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