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Yes, reopen Riverview Hospital to help the mentally ill
Re. “Reopen R’view” (The Tri-City News, Aug. 28).
It’s very good to see Riverview Hospital in the news lately.
In the past, Riverview has been an effective mental health facility that employed more than 4,000 people when in full operation. It cared for a significant number of the province’s people with mental health and addiction issues, as opposed to leaving them to their own devices, which is currently the case.
Unfortunately, shortsighted decisions mandated that it gradually close and now it sits empty and neglected. The stately heritage buildings and beautiful grounds make Riverview one of the most wonderful places in the Lower Mainland. One only needs to wander the grounds to feel a deep connection to nature. This has a positive effect on stress which helps to heal.
According to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, our police forces admit to being overwhelmed with being the frontline mental health care workers — a job for which they are neither trained nor equipped. People who require treatment often end up in our hospitals or criminal justice system.
I encourage our policy makers to give serious thought to reopening Riverview. Such a move could provide a significant number of well-paying, long-term jobs. It could at the same time provide care for those in need.
If our government is serious about jobs, then this seems to be a perfect opportunity.
Laura Dupont, Port Coquitlam