The Canadian Mental Health Association is pushing for community support.

The Canadian Mental Health Association is pushing for community support.

Mental health action sought

The Canadian Mental Health Association in B.C. has unveiled a five point manifesto

The Canadian Mental Health Association in B.C. has unveiled a five point manifesto that lays out a set of concrete and practical actions to improve the lives of people living with mental health and addictions problems.

The manifesto is a call to action for all British Columbians to get behind the idea that mental health and physical health should be valued equally. It outlines a series of recommendations on how we can create better mental health and addictions care in B.C.

“We would never knowingly wait until Stage four to intervene for cancer; we educate, screen, and take action in the early stages. CMHA B.C. firmly believes that we need to do the same for mental illnesses and addictions. b4stage4 is about preventing mental illness and addiction, and for those who are experiencing symptoms, intervening in the early years before people reach a crisis point,” said Bev Gutray, with CMHA B.C.

“When it comes to better mental health and addictions care, there is plenty of evidence for what works. The manifesto calls for B.C. to adopt community-based programs that have proven successful in treating the early symptoms of low mood, anxiety, and stress. They are cost-effective supports to our overburdened system in B.C. But more needs to be done to ensure people get the help they need at any stage or age.

British Columbians are encouraged to register their support at www.b4stage4.ca.