Chasing a crisis: The challenge of caring for Vancouver’s severely mentally ill and addicted residents

A six-part series

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      On September 13, 2013, Vancouver police chief constable Jim Chu stood alongside Mayor Gregor Robertson and called attention to the increasing frequency with which law enforcement officers are the first point of contact for people with mental-health challenges. “The answer for someone suffering a mental-health crisis is not a cop with a gun,” Chu said. “We need a shift from dealing with the crisis to preventing the crisis from occurring in the first place.”

      One year later, the Straight began a six-part series that explores the city's struggle to care for some of its most vulnerable and marginalized citizens.

      Part one: Vancouver police still seeking help to prevent a mental-health crisis

      Part two: Amid a mental-health crisis, Vancouver care providers revisit the debate on institutionalization

      Part three: Vancouver service providers fail to get ahead of a mental-health crisis

      Part four: B.C. prisons lock mentally-ill offenders in isolation

      Part five: Vancouver's ill and addicted lost in a mental-health care maze

      Part six: Deaths involving police reveal a long pattern of mental illness and addiction

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      Jane Duval

      Feb 11, 2015 at 4:20pm

      Thank you so much for this excellent body of work on Vancouver’s mental illness crisis. Your series on the disgraceful treatment of the mentally ill in our health and justice systems brings attention to the plight of people with serious brain disorders and their families.
      These informed and insightful articles are an important contribution to public education and advocacy efforts. It is extremely encouraging to those of us involved with the BC Schizophrenia Society to see our struggles discussed publicly and represented well. Thanks again!