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Questions the Public Ask About BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services

The public often asks about our mental health and substance use programs for British Columbians. Read our most frequently asked questions.

Stack of wooden subes with question marks on them, topped by a cube with a lightbulb on it

What does BC Mental Health Substance Use Services do?

We provide specialized treatment to people with the most severe and complex mental health and substance use disorders in B.C.

As provincial leaders, we also participate in transformative research, knowledge exchange, and systems change, and provide resources to health professionals across the province.

Can I make an appointment with one of your doctors?

Our services require a referral from a health professional. Learn more in Our Services.

How can I or a loved one get help for a mental illness or addiction in B.C.?

Visit one of these pages to get help or find resources:

Where can I learn more about clients' and patients' annual hearings with the BC Review Board?

To find out when a BC Review Board hearing for a specific client will take place, visit the BC Review Board website.

To learn more about the BC Review Board's role with our clients, visit our BC Review Board page or the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital page.

I hear you let patients from the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital out on day passes. Why? Is that safe?

Some patients and clients at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital participate in community visits as part of their treatment, which is mandated by the BC Review Board. You can learn more about community visits on the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital page and in this video.


Public safety is paramount. Patients and clients may only leave for a day pass after a careful risk assessment. We make every effort to keep the public safe while our clients and patients are on day passes.

After the treatment and support they receive, our patients and clients are far less likely to re-offend than people who have been found guilty of a crime.

What are you doing in response to the toxic drug crisis in B.C.?

We believe that whole-person addiction treatment that addresses the reasons people use substances is vital to preventing overdose. Mental illness, trauma and more are often connected to severe substance use.

Our programs, which you can read about in Our Services, treat complex mental illness and substance use. We're also working to improve mental health and substance use systems across B.C. to ensure people can access the care they need.

We've scaled up opioid agonist treatment in many of our programs, including Correctional Health Services and the Forensic Psychiatric Regional Clinics.

We've also launched five community transition teams throughout B.C. to help people with opioid use disorder who have recently been discharged from a correctional facility and are at higher than average risk for fatal overdose.

To learn more about our response to the toxic drug crisis, contact us.

SOURCE: Questions the Public Ask About BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services ( )
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