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

Saanich seals history with time capsule

Saanich will re-open time capsule in 2067

Heat warning issued for Vancouver Island

Temperatures expected to cool down later this week

Short trip to car-free Sidney Spit offers camping, beaches, hikes

Sidney Spit is part of B.C.’s Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, a protected marine ecosystem

Women’s March Victoria keeps movement going with UVic symposium

Discussions, community building and fundraising event highlights women of colour, LGBTQ, immigrants

Canadian military gains valuable disaster experience at RIMPAC

Naval, air force and army personnel practise war activities, humanitarian relief

Royal Victoria Yacht Club sends strong presence to BC Summer Games

Oak Bay athlete Max Chapman competes in sailing this week

Proposed charges will cost Saanich housing affordability

The head of the association representing home builders in the Greater Victoria… Continue reading

Riptide, CVUSC paved the way for varsity soccer players

Chloe Gummer has become a leader at VIU

B.C. woman disappointed after family asked for ID at townhouse complex pool

Surrey woman says it’s not the first time she has experienced racial profiling at the complex

Park pipeline protesters say arrest is a ‘declaration of war’

Group behind North Thompson River Provincial Park occupation protest says arrest is ‘declaration of war’

A day of deals at Amazon, and at its rivals

Online retail giant extends annual ‘Prime Day’ promotion to 36 hours

Alert B.C. campers raise alarm and avert potential propane disaster

Salmon Arm camper lodges a complaint with Technical Safety BC after motorhome tank is over-filled.

Non-union construction industry fears exclusion in B.C.

Premier John Horgan announces new Crown corporation for public works

UPDATED: Putin says he wanted Trump to win in 2016, didn’t interfere

The two leaders arrived Monday at Helsinki’s presidential palace for a long-awaited summit

Most Read