Jeff Bray is the executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. (rickcollinsphotography.com)

Jeff Bray is the executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association. (rickcollinsphotography.com)

DOWNTOWN DISCUSSION: Time has come for complex care mental health facility in Victoria

Jeff Bray

Downtown Victoria Business Association

A few weeks ago, Julian Daly, CEO of Our Place Society, wrote an op-ed calling for involuntary care for those suffering from the most severe mental health conditions and/or addictions. As a social service provider, it took courage for Mr. Daly to make this, as he put it, “provocative and to some controversial” recommendation.

It also took insight, experience, and a deep concern for those most marginalized. Most of us agree the old institutions were inhumane. However, the need for a new and improved complex care system for the small but impactful set of people we see suffering on the streets is undeniable.

For many, a stable address forms the base from which their life-changing journey begins. For some with severe trauma, mental illness, and/or addictions, however, there is need for involuntary, 24-hour, secure care to properly support their journey to recovery. For this small group, the current model of community-based services is simply insufficient.

Tertiary care, managed on a human scale, with the goal of independent living is missing from our community’s offerings. It is critical we strike a balance between accommodating individual rights and protections and preventing our present reality: people dying in despair – and literally dying – in the streets. These are our neighbours, family, and friends, and we are failing them.

Former NDP MLA (now Nanaimo Mayor) Leonard Krog has been calling for this type of care for over a year. Julian Daly – a local social service provider – recognizes the same need. I, a representative of the downtown business community, have been asking for this long before I became co-chair of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. Regardless of politics, or sectoral occupation, many arrive at the same conclusion: we need tertiary complex care.

Those in political office will tread carefully in exploring this idea, and there will be strong voices against it; but when government steps into this arena to consider involuntary care, I am confident they will find much of the public is already there.

Jeff Bray is the executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

Victoria

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read