Children’s mental health boosted with VIHA service expansion

More needs to be done, says Victoria family who created petition

Kelly and Owen Bradley

The Vancouver Island Health Authority is in the final stages of creating a 24-7 on-call acute care psychiatry team at Victoria General Hospital, thanks in part to a Victoria family’s petition that has garnered more than 27,000 signatures.

In a story first told by the News, Kelly and Owen Bradley publicly aired their frustration towards VIHA for refusing to admit their 11-year-old daughter, who suffers from bipolar distorder, to Victoria General Hospital in January.

After a 19-day wait, their daughter was finally admitted to Ledger House in Saanich, the Island’s only child and adolescent mental health facility with 13 beds.

“We do recognize the need to enhance and expand our services in this area,” said Dr. Richard Crowe, VIHA’s executive medical director of mental health and addiction services.

Crowe said he’s seen roughly 20 per cent more youth and children presenting at local hospitals for mental health services compared to a few years ago.

VIHA plans to spend an additional $900,000 on child and adolescent psychiatrists this year, including two new full-time positions for Greater Victoria.

VGH has also extended weekend hours of its mental health crisis nurses, while its collaborative psychiatry team will include both child/adolescent and adult psychiatrists to provide full coverage, Crowe said.

There are currently seven VIHA-employed psychiatrists in the Victoria area, but most are part-time and do not specialize in acute care, he added.

“This is the case for all of the health care authorities across Canada – there are simply not enough child psychiatrists,” Crowe said.

Kelly Bradley admitted the long-term solutions aren’t easy, but said acute care is just a piece of the puzzle.

She plans to deliver her family’s petition to B.C. Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid in the coming weeks.

“We’re just so grateful this is coming out,” Bradley said. “Some people will deny there’s a problem. But so many people have experienced almost everything we have.”

To view the Bradley’s petition, visit chn.ge/11lGrFJ.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Just Posted

New accessible playground opens at View Royal’s Eagle View Elementary School

Students overjoyed while faculty and parents feel relief

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

Greater Victoria developer rushes to demolish historic wall before Oak Bay applies heritage permit

Abstract Development punches holes in one of Oak Bay’s oldest stone walls

$775-million wastewater project on track to be completed on time, within new budget

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins praises public education aspect of project

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Elizabeth May confirms plan to eliminate fish farming in open ocean pens

Green Party leader stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

STRIKE: WFP and USW are back at the table for mediation

“No further updates until either an agreement is reached or one party or the other breaks off talks”

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read