'Another blow to the provision of mental health and addictions services.' - Darryl Walker.
Vancouver (12 Nov. 2009) - B.C.'s Northern Health Authority (NHA) has decided to close Step Up House, a group home in Quesnel for the chronically mentally ill.
"[This] is another blow to the provision of mental health and addictions services," says Darryl Walker, president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE).
Life will become "even more difficult" for everyone affected once services are moved to Terrace or Prince George, he says.
"I am troubled by the cuts health authorities are making to these important programs. It goes against the government's own promise of delivering a "comprehensive" mental health and addiction service around the province."
Brenda Brown, chair of the union's health care workers and a resident in Quesnel, says Step Up House is "the only residential facility for mental health clients" in Quesnel and the service will be missed.
The B.C. government estimates that 882,000 British Columbians suffer from some form of mental health problem every year.
Last week Walker raised concerns about cuts to mental health and addictions services in Victoria, Maple Ridge and Terrace.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
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