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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich roads doused in more than 300 tonnes of salt during snowstorm

Crews cleared roads around the clock during the mid-January storm

Three Saanich councillors ask for $2-M investment into District road safety

‘I don’t want roads to be safer in 30 years, I want them safer now,’ says Coun. Ned Taylor

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

‘We thought it was an earthquake,’ homeowners okay after tree falls

Mature tree falls on roof of Victoria Avenue house

VIDEO: The Victoria byelection leads a selection of today’s news stories

A selection of Greater Victoria top stories for Jan. 17

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

POLL: Has the recent snow had an impact on your daily life?

Old Man Winter had Greater Victoria in his icy grip this week.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read