Here are some highlights of our latest work:
Roughly two-thirds of British Columbians who died of an illegal drug overdose between January 1, 2016, and July 31, 2017, had recent contact with the criminal justice system, according to a death review panel report released by the BC Coroners Service in 2018. Of those, 10 per cent — or 333 people — died within their first month of release from a correctional facility.
Five new community transition teams stationed in Surrey, Prince George, Kamloops, Nanaimo, and Port Coquitlam are working to address this problem by helping people with opioid-use disorders access treatment in their communities after release from a correctional facility.
Following an external review in 2018, implementation of an
18-month action plan designed to improve safety, patient care and operations at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital is
generating encouraging results.
Working closely with our partners at the Ministry of Health, WorkSafeBC, and unions, we've hired many more staff, improved policies, and introduced a best-in-class approach to safety at secure hospitals called
therapeutic and relational security. Work is ongoing, and we have already observed a significant decrease in aggressive incidents at the hospital.
award-winning executive director of the BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services Research Institute published a study — the largest of its kind — that showed
no mental health benefits to eating one's placenta, contrary to popular belief. The study was covered by
major media outlets.
We work closely with
PHSA's Office of Virtual Health to increase access to mental health and substance use care for people across British Columbia using digital technology. Two recent
virtual health projects include the following:
We've increased access to
opioid agonist treatment, which uses medication such as Suboxone and methadone to manage withdrawal symptoms and help clients and patients stay in recovery. Currently, about 40 per cent of
Correctional Health Services clients are on opioid agonist treatment. There is no waiting list. We've also
increased access to opioid agonist treatment for clients and patients at the
Forensic Regional Community Clinics, hiring and training many more staff who can prescribe opioid agonist treatment and provide counselling.
Work continues on a new state-of-the-art treatment centre on the Riverview lands that will care for adults with complex and severe substance use and mental health challenges. The 105-bed purpose-built Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction will replace the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction in 2021.