Time to support link between mental health and homelessness
British Columbians shouldn’t be surprised the provincial NDP’s first campaign promise is to throw money at an issue to make it go away.
NDP leader Adrian Dix kicked off his campaign pledging to extend compensation to all victims of abuse at the former Woodlands School, not just those who attended after Aug. 1, 1974. Despite the good intentions of Dix’s claim, there’s no guarantee the province has a large enough fund to honour all possible claims. What’s worse is the NDP’s plan fails to address the root cause.
Mental illness affects one in five Canadians. Despite most conditions being preventable and treatable, it remains the largest single burden on our health care system. Delegates to the recent federal Liberal Party’s policy convention in Surrey unanimously approved a motion to improve our country’s mental health care. The Liberals support recognising the link between homelessness and mental health, creating a national housing strategy for the homeless, and implementing the Mental Health Commission’s report, “Changing Directions, Changing Lives: A Mental Health Strategy for Canada.”
Spending money we don’t have without fixing the issue is not sound public policy. It’s more like throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping some of it sticks.
But as they’ve proven over and over again in both Victoria and Ottawa, that’s the NDP’s only policy.