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Feel free to copy & paste or write your own letter to your local M.L.A. to help push this issue to the forefront. To find your MLA, here’s a helpful webpage: http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm
(Slightly modified from my original e-mail version:)
Dear Dr. Jane Shin, M.L.A.,
I’m writing as a constituent of your riding, and I would like to bring the issue of mental health in our province to your attention.
Recently, Global News reported on how the “Mayor and Police Chief declare ‘mental health crisis’ in Vancouver” http://globalnews.ca/news/839390/mayor-and-police-chief-declare-mental-health-crisis-in-vancouver/ . For many, though, this is not new news. The BC Liberals allowed – and according to some, accelerated – the closure of Riverview Hospital, ironically just over a year ago also on a Friday the 13th, the same day that I am writing this e-mail to you. This closure resulted in a significant loss and disruption to our province’s mental health services and capacity.
As a member of the BC NDP (a party which called for better funding and action for mental health in BC in their election platform) and as a medical doctor, it is my guess that this issue is already a priority for you. So, I would like to further encourage you to please continue championing this cause. I would like to see both the Official Opposition and the current BC Liberal government ensuring that both short term initiatives and long term action are put in place to improve mental health care and services in BC.
I understand that these things take time and are often complex, but I believe we cannot afford to allow complacency or rhetoric to slow down our reaction to this “crisis”. As I alluded to earlier, this is not a recent crisis, but the fact that the Vancouver Mayor and Police Chief have so clearly declared a “mental health crisis” provides a key opportunity to us to bring this issue to the forefront.
Inaction or mismanagement when it comes to mental health in our province costs us economically, due to the fallout of persons suffering from mental illness not getting the help they need earlier on, before they arrive at the front lines of our hospital emergency rooms or law enforcement. Our communities and quality of living also suffer as a result. Furthermore, morally and ethically, I believe we have the ability to intervene and improve the situation, and so we are compelled to do so. It’s my hope that these three incentives are enough to help drive political action on the issue.
If you have the time, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts on the issue and any news you may be privy to regarding it. Otherwise, I hope that this e-mail is an encouragement to you in helping strengthen our province when it comes to mental health.
Thank you for your time and your service to our riding!
– Paulman Chan