The 2017 BC provincial election has been a profound opportunity to move the needle on mental health and addictions care within our province. There is no doubt that healthcare reform and responses to the opioid crisis ranked high as important voting issues.
Here the b4stage4 campaign netted results. Just four years ago mental health was mentioned less than 20 times and addiction only 3 times in the individual party platforms released in advance of the election. In 2017 mental health appeared 84 times and addiction appears 39 times across all three of the major party platforms: BC NDP, BC Greens, and BC Liberals. We witnessed landmark commitments that align with the five pillars of the b4stage4 declaration:
There is strong potential for the next government to take action for mental health and addiction. We can find evidence of this not only in the party platforms, but also in the statements candidates have made in support of b4stage4.
- The Vancouver Island South Candidates Forum in Victoria, BC hosted representatives from BC NDP and BC Greens, who discussed the five pillars of the declaration and reaffirmed their commitments for better mental health. The BC Liberals were invited but were unable to attend.
- A targeted communication was sent to all 304 cross-party candidates in every riding of the province. We asked if they would stand with us in calling for an equitable system of care and if they would commit to the actions listed beneath each pillar of the declaration.
Authorized by Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division, 1-800-555-8222, and Department of Policy, Planning and Research, Jonny Morris, 1-800-555-8222 ext. 5372, registered sponsors under the Election Act.