VIHA boosts mental health tools but what about teens?

VIHA has started two new mental health teams, but we would like to see something similar in place for older teenagers.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority earlier this week announced funding for a pair of programs designed to help people with mental health challenges in our community. One program in particular will bring a mental health team to the streets of Port Alberni and Campbell River, to help people who have difficulty with structure or are hard to engage.

This is welcome news, particularly now. Homelessness is a big issue in our community, and whether we want to face it or sweep it under the carpet, many people who are hard to house are also hard to deal with—either because of mental health or substance abuse issues.

Oftentimes people with challenging mental health issues reject traditional methods of care, only to end up on the wrong side of someone’s patience. In many cases, they end up on the wrong side of the law.

Case in point: the debate over plans to expand the Port Alberni Shelter.

We are hopeful the Integrated Care Team fills in the gaps for mental health patients by streamlining communication between doctors, patients and applicable services.

If we had any criticism of these two pilot projects, it would be that they ignore our youth. We would like to see something similar in place for older teenagers—those who are no longer children, but not yet adults by legal definition.

And we hope this small cash infusion ($1.5 million for four teams in total) will not be cut off before the efficacy of the pilot project can be quantified.

Alberni Valley News

Just Posted

Vandals break windows in Port Alberni heritage train cars

Damage in the thousands of dollars, says Industrial Heritage Society

Fire destroys mysterious travel trailer in Port Alberni alley

Port Alberni Fire Dept. security cameras capture start of fire

Port Alberni wants to bring back bed races for annual Salmon Fest

Veteran racer recalls thrill of racing a handcrafted bed through city streets

Semi-truck crashes on Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino-Ucluelet

Drivers heading in or out of Tofino-Ucluelet Friday afternoon should expect delays

Port Alberni city council reveals 2019-2023 strategic plan

Strategies include revitalization, truck route, public safety

VIDEO: Langley Ribfest met with protesters

Groups that oppose the event for various reasons plan to be on site each of the three days.

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Most Read