The Public Policy Committee is in the midst of a busy and productive year, continuing a legacy of strong advocacy work in support of families living with mental illness. Focus areas include:
- Providing feedback during the consultation process on the Provincial Tertiary Mental Health Standards. The Public Policy Committee submitted an in-depth review of the Standards, many of which were adopted during the consultation process and forwarded to the BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services. We are awaiting the release of the final version.
- Examining the discharge process for mentally ill individuals being release from correctional facilities in an effort to improve the discharge process and increase family involvement. Consultations with consumers, family members, and professionals are ongoing as we work to develop an advocacy and awareness plan that will encourage better partnerships and improve outcomes for individuals and families.
- Developing an Anti-Stigma Campaign that counters the negative stereotypes associated with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. The campaign includes posters, which have been circulated provincially, as well as a Public Services Announcement that will be distributed to radio stations throughout BC.
- Organizing a Lunch and Learn event at the BC Legislature. The first event was held in October 2014 and hosted by the Minister of Health, Terry Lake. Over 30 MLAs came to hear Dr. Bill MacEwan, former police chief Jamie Graham, and parents and educators Bill Magee and Eve McBride speak about the realities of mental illness. A second lunch is currently being planned for October 2015.
Agencies contacted: 52
Letters sent: 94
Responses received: 31
Coroner’s Recommendations addressed: 67