Care Before Crisis

#GetLoud for Care Before Crisis

What if you were turned away from your doctor because you were told you weren’t sick enough to be treated? Sadly, this happens all too often to those seeking care for a mental illness or substance use problem.

In British Columbia, mental health and substance use disorders affect 800, 000 people, about 17% of the population. Approximately 84, 000 youth aged 4 - 17 years are experiencing mental illness, yet fewer than 1 in 3 who seek services receive specialized treatment.[1] 

With limited access to primary care physicians and specialized treatment, many people are left with no options other than emergency departments for care. This is why BC’s hospitalization and re-admission rates for mental illness are higher than the national average. More than 14% of people accessing services for a mental health or substance use problem are hospitalized three or more times in a year.[2]

We need a better system of care – one that helps people at every stage of mental wellness or illness.

No one should be turned away from receiving the care they need.

Join CMHA BC in calling for system of mental health and substance use services that includes:

  • Access to quality care at every stage of mental wellness and illness
  • Integration of mental health and substance use care into primary care



[1] Waddell et al. (2014). Child and Youth Mental Disorders: Prevalence and Evidence-Based Interventions. A Research Report for the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development. Children’s Health Policy Centre. Retrieved from:

[2] Canadian Institute for Health Information, “Health Indicators Interactive Tool”, online: (searched using most recent year available, by province, for “30-day Readmission for Mental Illness”, “Mental Illness Hospitalization – T”, “Mental Illness Patient Days –T”, and “Patients with Repeat Hospitalizations for Mental Illness”).

Care before Crisis
Care Before Crisis
It's time we value mental health and addiction equally to physical health. Sign the @cmhabc #b4stage4 manifesto: