mental health
A survey of pediatricians in 2011 in regard to child and youth mental health pointed out a number of difficulties; most particularly lack of access/long wait lists for the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) Child and Youth Mental Health Clinics, child psychiatrists etc. A research report written for the MCFD in 2013 noted that approximately 12.6% of children and youth (nearly 84,000 in BC) experience clinically important mental health systems and associated impairments – but only a small percentage of that group are receiving appropriate mental health services.

Over the last three years, the BCPS Advocacy Chair, Dr. Wilma Arruda has been talking with and urging the MCFD to establish proper wait lists (so the extent of the issue can be measured) as well as to increase access to their services. In March of 2013, the MCFD instituted a project: Strengthening Child and Youth Mental Health Services: Blueprint for Action. Dr. Arruda participated in the first meeting to discuss the Blueprint and provide feedback. This is a real step forward for MCFD and the BCPS is pleased to partner with them on it.

One of the issues with access is lack of resources. In Nanaimo, a Collaborative Care Committee has been instituted, with membership including MCFD CYMH Therapists (Aboriginal and Non Aboriginal), Child and Youth Psychiatry, a pediatrician, and a Family Physician (when able).The objective of this Committee is to provide a centralized triaging of CYMH referrals and provide consultation to the CYMH team. As well, the committee has worked collaboratively to roll out the CYMH PSP modules in Central Island. The Committee believes this work has significantly improved the access and wait times and subsequently improved appropriate and timely MH care. As part of this work an algorithm has been developed to guide emergency room physicians in Nanaimo who are seeing these patients as well as protocols to assist in the appropriate care of admitted patients with MH problems. In Interior Health, a Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Abuse Collaborative has been established, which also focuses on a centralized intake model (amongst other topics). Dr. Arruda and the BC Pediatric Society are also active in this Collaborative.

BCPS   British Columbia Pediatric Society
Room 2D19, 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4
604.875.3101 phone 604.875.2890 fax