State of BC Health - November 2021

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State of BC Health October 2021

Your monthly update from the BC Health Coalition


Save Our Crisis Lines

As we face multiple emergencies including the drug overdose crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the current state of emergency caused by major flooding, BC's crisis lines have provided a safety net of mental health services that stretch across the province.

However, the BC government recently released a Notice to Vendor announcing the Province's intention to embark on a Request For Proposal (RFP) process and put crisis line services to competitive bid. Initiating this RFP threatens to delay and disrupt access to these lifesaving services at a time when demand is at an all-time high.

But there's still hope for our provincial crisis lines. After sending letters and having meetings with several ministers and MLA's, we recently learned that the RFP has been put on pause. While this news... comes as a relief, we know our work is not finished until crisis line providers have secured commitments from government to negotiate new contracts with the funding they need to continue saving lives.

Read more about the essential life-saving services that are at risk in our recent blog post.


It's time for robust public mental health care in BC

Did you miss our mental health panel series? You can get caught up by watching the recordings:

  • Worker's mental health in the pandemic
    Far too many workers cannot access the mental health supports they need. As a result, burnout, resignations and extended leaves of absence are hollowing out the workforce in essential sectors that are already understaffed. This virtual panel explored the experiences of frontline workers in retail, housing, community counselling, and hospital and spotlighted existing campaigns to support workers' mental health.
  • A vision for public mental health care
    Many have commented on the failures of our public health care system at caring for the mind, pointing out that our public coverage stops above the neck. In reality, public funding does exist for mental health care; however, it is disproportionately directed at downstream interventions, kicking in at crisis levels that are too often coercive. This virtual panel brought together non-profit leaders in mental health who shared a vision for public mental health care in BC.

Addressing Indigenous specific racism in B.C. health care

AGM Keynote featuring Assistant Deputy Minister of Indigenous Health

  • A year in review: updates on the "In Plain Sight" report
    Almost one year after the release of In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care, Assistant Deputy Minister of Indigenous Health Dawn Thomas delivered a keynote at the BC Health Coalition's annual general meeting. ADM Thomas shared an overview of the report and provided updates on the implementation of the recommendations.

UPDATE Announcing the 2022 Steering Committee!

We are pleased to announce the following organizations and representatives were elected to the BC Health Coalition Steering Committee at the Annual General Meeting:

Community (Co-chair TBC)
BC Federation of Labour - Phoebe Lo Patigdas
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives BC - Shannon Daub
Community Action Initiative - Melinda Markey & Adrienne Yeung
Council of Senior Citizens Organization BC - Diane Wood
DIVERSEcity - Adrienne Bale
Metro Vancouver Cross-Cultural Seniors Network - Ihsan Malik & Kathleen Jamieson

BC Federation of Labour - Sheila Moir
BCGEU - Scott De Long & Jolan Bailey
CUPE BC - Tanya Paterson (Labour co-chair)
Hospital Employees Union - Sara Rozell & Barb Nederpel
Health Sciences Association - Jaime Matten & Edith MacHattie (Labour co-chair)
UFCW 1518 - Eleanor Smity & Linda Wilson

We sincerely thank outgoing Steering Commitee members for their service: Marcy Cohen (CCPA BC), Edward Staples (Support Our Health Care Coalition), and Zarghoona Wakil (Mosaic)


    • No healthcare without specialized health professions. Over 70 health professions have experienced sever shortages for years, and the pandemic has made work conditions even less sustainable. Health Sciences Association just launched a powerful ad campaign to end the shortages.
    • How are transportation systems working for older adults? Better Environmentally Sound Transportation (BEST) and United Way BC are calling for adults aged 55+ to complete their Seniors' Transportation Survey by December 16. Paper copies and alternative languages available by emailing Molly Peters (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
    • Expanding home care options in Canada. The Institute for Research on Public Policy hosted a panel of home care researchers this month, discussing the policy context for home care from province to province and options for increasing home care. Watch the webinar here.
    • Forced mental health treatment spikes in BC. Learn about the rise in coercive mental health treatment in this article in the Tyee. Kendra Milne of Health Justice explains links with the lack of adequate support for complex issues.
    • Why Canada is in court to protect health care for all. The most recent analysis of the Cambie Case looks at the global implications for universal health coverage. Read more HERE.

HERE to donate to the BC Health Coalition

Donations by cheque can be made out to BC Health Coalition and mailed to BC Health Coalition 302-3102 Main Street Vancouver BC V5T 3G7.

If you would like to set up monthly donations by cheque, please fill out this Donation Form and mail it in with a void cheque.


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British Columbia Health Coalition · 3102 Main St, 302, Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories, BC V5T 3G7, Canada
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