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Greater Victoria, BC News

ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
5/27/2017 Media Release
B.C. Businesses Want Better Mental Health and Addictions Services

Greater Victoria, May 27, 2017 – The B.C. business community are united in their concern that issues related to un- or under-treated mental illnesses and addictions are still on the rise in B.C., as are overdose deaths. The resolution, Safe Communities and Strong Economies – Mental Health and Addictions in B.C., was endorsed by the BC Chamber and its member chambers and boards of trade on May 27 during its annual general meeting and conference, which ran May 25 to 27 at the Victoria Conference Centre.

The resolution recommends the Province of B.C. commission an expedited study – funded in BC Budget 2018 if not sooner - to re-design the current service model and ensure the work of the Joint Task Force on Overdose Response continues and is appropriately funded.

The resolution emerged from the joint efforts of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, Tourism Victoria, the City of Victoria and the Downtown Victoria Business Association to request Provincial support on issues of importance to the city.

“Untreated mental health and addictions issues are not only having a negative impact on the health and well-being of British Columbia’s population, they are also affecting our economy drastically and negatively,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “I’d like to thank the business community for their advocacy on this important issue. I look forward to the requests in the motion being implemented right away.”

Mental illness and addictions significantly affect business and the economy. Further, un- or under-treated mental illnesses and addictions are pervasive within the homeless population, which can lead them to present in anti-social ways, affecting public safety that can, in turn, affect local business. In addition, un- or under-treated mental illnesses and addictions complicates the transition of homeless into permanent housing and can lead to recidivism in offenders, increasing the costs of social housing and to our justice system.

Safe Communities and Strong Economies – Mental Health and Addictions in B.C. is one of nine policy resolutions that the Greater Victoria Chamber presented to the provincial business community at the BC Chamber Conference.

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce is the largest business association in Greater Victoria, with over 1,400 member organizations. It is funded by businesses to support business, and works to strengthen the region’s business community through advocacy, networking events, professional development and other programming to support its members. More info at www.victoriachamber.ca.

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