Letters: Open closed mental illness care facilities

Dear Editor,

I am writing as a future health care professional who is studying those diagnosed with a mental illness, in hopes of having more facilities such as Riverview open to the needs of the mentally ill. 

Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, B.C. operated from 1913 and closed in 2012 due to the overcrowding of patients. What does overcrowding suggest, a greater need for more facilities or more closures? The obvious choice seems to be more facilities, to allow for programs that support and provide a way to integrate those with mental illness back into the community. 

The new beginning for mental health will start with the opening of two new buildings located on the grounds of Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, where programs will offer the mentally ill support, social skills, job skills, education, and psychiatric treatment. 

Although the opening of two new buildings will be a leap in a positive direction, this doesn’t overcome the issue of overcrowding or long-term support for the thousands of others who are seeking rehabilitation. 

Over the past years I have seen a decrease in funding for organizations providing for the mentally ill, and believe this decrease is resulting in deaths. 

With more opportunities for funding, individuals can contribute to helping more facilities to open more programs, better treatment for long-term care and a decrease in suicide, arrests and harm to others. 

Please reach out and support political parties such as the NDP, health administrators, and members of the community, and show support to those with mental illness, and create a new beginning in health care. 

Brittany Nelson, Langley

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