Minister Judy Darcy met with community members from Northern Health, MCFD, RCMP and not for profit service providers in Prince Rupert in November.

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions visits Prince Rupert for first time

Service challenges tops Minister Judy Darcy’s trip

Minister Judy Darcy made her first trip to Prince Rupert in her capacity as Minister of Mental Health and Addictions last month.

Darcy met with North Coast MLA Rice and Prince Rupert’s service providers to get a better understanding of the successes and the challenges faced in the city and surrounding areas.

“I have visited many parts of the province and it was great to get to Prince Rupert,” Darcy said. “What I really wanted to know from them is what’s working and how can services be improved and how do we need to work together.”

Two challenges really stuck out for Darcy during her round table meeting. The first was the difficulty Northern Health faces in retaining physicians, nurses and other health care providers despite their best efforts to recruit employees.

Darcy believes the lack of retention is a combination of housing, pay and rural location.

“Sometimes people will come here to begin their career but not necessarily stay more than a couple of years,” she said.

Darcy said she was particularly impressed by what she heard from the drop-in mental health clinic, a community-based intervention facility that opened in 2018, and their work in removing the barriers that people have often had to accessing mental health and substance use services.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert’s service providers on a mission to end addiction stigma

However, despite their success, the challenges residents face in getting to Prince George treatment centres still remains a major issue, and at the top of Darcy’s mind for Prince Rupert.

A visit to Trinity House, one of the few registered men’s recovery houses in the North, was one of the highlight visits of Darcy’s trip. In August the provinical government brought in new regulations to tame what she refered to as “the wild west” recovery houses which were loosely regulated services.

“They weren’t strong regulations and you couldn’t be assured that you were getting quality care and safe care if you were in a recovery house. We brought in some tough new regulations, and Trinity House is one of the first to be meeting those regulations,” she said.

READ MORE: New regulations require training for B.C. addiction recovery homes

A part of the ministry’s “A Pathway to Hope” plan — defined as a roadmap to improving mental health and addictions care in B.C. — is the creation of Foundry Centres, a one-stop mental health support site for youth ages 12-24 where they can access a variety of health and social services.

Rice said this initative was brought up to service providers at the roundtable to gauge if there was a desire to bring the centre to Prince Rupert.

“Approximately, three years ago local service providers were working together and taking the steps to create a youth hub such as the Foundry, but the work didn’t continue. It appears there may be interest to pick up on that work and carry on with it from some local service providers,” Rice said.

Service providers had until the end of November to submit an Expression of Interest on the idea before they decided whether or not to move forward.

READ MORE: LETTER: No empathy for Prince Rupert’s homeless


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
Jenna Cocullo 
Send Jenna email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 liability protection for essential workers

Provincial government taking steps to limit operators from being sued

Prince Rupert seniors are often not able to purchase groceries

Shopping hours, panic buying makes basic essentials extremely difficult for those at high risk

Kitimat LNG Canada worker tests positive for COVID-19

The company announced the positive case to its workers on March 28

Bachrach to donate salary hike to community organizations

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP among growing list of MPs giving raise away amid economic crisis

Coast Mountain College sets up student emergency fund

It’ll provide grocery store gift cards for students affected by COVID-19 crisis

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

Most Read