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2021 Accomplishments

  • COVID-19 management and vaccine roll out – BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) continued to effectively manage the COVID-19 pandemic with heightened infection prevention and control measures across all sites, as well as Incident Command Centres and an Emergency Operations Centre to monitor issues. The program successfully completed a vaccination campaign including training for nurse immunizers to administer vaccines across ten provincial correctional facilities, as well as Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, Heartwood Centre for Women and the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.
  • BC Concurrent Disorders Conference – BCMHSUS hosted its first BC Concurrent Disorders Conference in March 2021 to advance knowledge in co-occurring mental health and addictions disorders treatment across the province. The event had over 1700 registered attendees and featured keynote talks, panel discussions and 14 interactive workshops with national and international speakers.
  • Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction – In October 2021, BCMHSUS opened a new, state-of-the-art, 105-bed treatment centre for people with the most complex, co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders in the province. The Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction is a purpose-built facility designed around a new, evidence-based model of care, which informs how clients will receive treatment that is tailored to their individual needs and strengths.
  • Advancements in cultural safety and humility – As part of our commitment to advancing health equity for Indigenous peoples, BCMHSUS coordinated and aligned initiatives with the First Nations Health Authority, regional health authorities and government through the Tripartite Committee on First Nations Health. The program has also launched a three-year initiative to eliminate stigma and address racism, increased representation of Indigenous patient and family voices in all decision making, built partnerships with kʷikʷəƛəm (Kwikwetlem First Nation) to increase cultural competence for staff, and facilitated traditional healing ceremonies for Indigenous clients throughout the service.
  • Provincial Mental Health and Substance Use Network – In order to address gaps in the province’s mental health and substance use care system, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services has created the Provincial Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) Network. Made up of diverse stakeholders and perspectives, the network will provide an evidence-informed way to solve systemic challenges faced by people with complex needs relating to mental health, substance use issues, acquired brain injury, developmental disability, challenging or aggressive behaviours or involvement with the criminal justice system.
  • Crisis Line Enhancement Project – BCMHSUS is enhancing the delivery of crisis line services in B.C. by establishing an effective provincial program for crisis intervention. Under this project, the program established a Provincial Steering Committee with representation from regional health authorities and the First Nations Health Authority, developed an enhanced service model based on best practice, engaged with patients and Indigenous partners to strengthen the model, and identified requirements and technology needs for the service.
  • Virtual care – In order to strengthen the continuum of care throughout the province, BCMHSUS finalized its Virtual and Digital Health Strategy & Roadmap and established a steering committee to oversee its implementation. The program also launched a clinical digital messaging platform to support text messaging with clients in the community, specifically Forensic Regional Clinic and Community Transition Team clients. Virtual care was also built into the Red Fish Healing Centre with tablets available for clients, digital reader boards to display program content, and plans to turn the centre into a virtual innovation hub for piloting transformative technologies.
  • Patient experience and community engagement – Through a multi-year project to disrupt stigma relating to mental health and substance use, the program co-designed and launched a three-part animated video series telling the stories of people with lived experience of these stigmas. The program also launched a Playbook on Compensating Patients and Families to help standardize honoraria for patients, clients and families; developed a “Co-Created with Patients and Families” symbol to clearly identify materials that have been developed with people with lived experience; and established a patient- and family-led health literacy working group to review education and research materials to improve language accessibility.
  • FPH improvements to safety and care – The Forensic Psychiatric Hospital continued its ongoing collaborations with WorkSafe BC and union stakeholders to improve overall safety and the quality of care, leading to further reductions in time loss to violence in the workplace. The hospital also implemented a number of recommendations from the Guarding Minds at Work survey, including the roll out of site wide bullying and harassment education for staff.
SOURCE: 2021 Accomplishments ( )
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