Victoria all-candidates meeting focuses on mental health and addiction, Liberals take a pass


The issues of mental health and addiction were the topic for discussion at an all-candidates meeting in Victoria Monday night.

Th event was organized by the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division, and was held in the main foyer of The Atrium on Yates.

The NDP candidate in Victoria-Beacon Hill Carole James, and Chris Maxwell, the Green Party candidate in Victoria-Swan Lake, were on hand

Local BC Liberal candidates were also invited but no one turned up leaving a lone empty chair.

The inspiration for the event is an initiative that calls for improving mental health and addiction services in BC through prevention, early identification and early intervention.

It was moderated by CMHA BC senior policy advisor Jonny Morris.

One audience member put it to the candidates that there are too many people who aren’t getting taken care of because they don’t like the system.

“While we’ve come some way, we still have a long way to go to recognize mental health as a health issue” said James. 

Both the candidates spoke of their personal experiences with mental health and addiction in their communities.

“We have a mental health crisis, we have to act,” said Maxwell.

The results of a CMHA survey found that 77% in BC believe that prevention and early identification of mental illness is one of the top ten most important issues facing the province today.


Ben O'HaraBen O'Hara

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