Have your say: Improving care for patients with substance use and mental health challenges

April 3, 2023

Mental health member engagement Doctors of BC’s Council on Health Promotion (COHP) is developing policy on two important areas of care – substance use and improving access to mental health/mental illness care – and are seeking members’ input on both. Your feedback will ensure that your key concerns as a clinician and the needs of the patients you care for are reflected in the recommendations and commitments that are created, and that will be used as the foundation for our advocacy on these two important matters.

How to participate

You can share your thoughts starting now on our Have your Say online member engagement platform to ensure we create policy that reflects your experience, reflects your key concerns, and is relevant to you and your colleagues. This engagement opportunity closes on Monday, April 17, 2023.

Two opportunities for input

  • Access to mental health/mental illness care – With the rising prevalence of mental health issues in BC, there is a growing demand for care and services to meet a range of needs. COHP is in the preliminary stages of developing a policy statement that addresses the barriers and challenges when accessing mental health care and services in BC. As part of this work, we need your input—your clinical experience and understanding of patient and provider needs in BC can help inform where we focus our policy and advocacy efforts. 
  • Substance use care – COHP is developing a policy paper designed to complement and modernize our position on substance use care, first developed and detailed in our 2009 policy paper, Stepping Forward: Improving Addiction Care in BC. Your input will help us determine if we are on the right track with our core recommendations and better understand todays gaps in substance use care training, resources, and other supports for physicians. Harmful substance use remains one of the most challenging public health crises in BC. The toxic drug crisis alone has resulted in more than 10,000 deaths since its declaration as a public health emergency. While the provincial government and other partners have taken meaningful steps to address this issue, lowering the public health impact of harmful substance use remains an elusive goal – more must be done.

If you have any questions, please contact . A summary of your input will be shared in future What we Heard reports.

(RELATED: See What we Heard from members and our final policy statement on another important component of the toxic drug crisis: decriminalization to mitigate the harms of the toxic drug supply.)