EDITORIAL: Mental illness costs sizeable

It’s time to look at a broader spectrum of care in Victoria

The scaling back of mental patient facilities at Riverview in Vancouver and, to a certain degree, Eric Martin Pavilion in Victoria decades ago, offered hope for hundreds of people who were previously expected to live out their lives away from the public eye.

When we hear of cases where individuals battling mental illness are involved in serious attacks on others and even murder, we wonder, even if only for a few moments, whether such an experiment has proven successful.

The cases of the young Sooke man charged with murdering his mother, after numerous previous incidents of violence; and the Victoria man on trial for stabbing an innocent boy at a bus stop, after seeing in the boy’s face someone he believed was in a gang that was trying to kill him, are examples of people falling through the cracks.

We don’t advocate a return to the days of institutionalizing people with mental disabilities simply because they can’t function at a high enough level to live on their own.

But for people who demonstrate their inability to function safely in society in relation to others, there needs to be an alternative to being hospitalized or being locked up in prison. That option needs to be available early for families who can no longer care for the person, often due to the fact that the individual is an adult.

The long-term effects and costs, both financial and human, of removing the institutional option from our health-care system surely outweigh the cost of operating such facilities for those who need it.

Whether there will ever be the political will to change the system, to create a broader spectrum of care for those battling mental illness, remains to be seen.

We hope the province looks seriously at this option to give everyone a chance to live a healthier life.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Thousands show for 40th GoodLife Marathon in downtown Victoria

New records, first-time runners, and stories of resilience

Mother of alleged hit-and-run victim hopes municipalities will work together to improve crosswalk

Young woman injured, dog killed when struck by driver on marked crosswalk at Foul Bay Road

Here comes the rain: Victoria can expect post Thanksgiving showers all week

Mild, rainy weather expected from Tuesday to Saturday

Opponents of Elizabeth May criticize her push to scrap temporary foreign worker program

May has proposed to scrap the federal program which supplies local business with temporary workers

Victoria woman uses loss to raise awareness of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

City of Victoria to recognize Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day Oct. 15

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Dog killed in alleged hit and run, Goodlife Marathon takes over city and more

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read