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It would not be a return to Riverview hospital
Editor, The News:
Re: predictable result (News Views, Feb. 12).
Thank you for this concise description of the folly of incarcerating the mentally ill.
We need a “philosophical shift in how we look at crime and those who commit it.”
The majority of repeat offenders are mentally ill or challenged or have addiction issues and would be more appropriately treated in the health care system, not the justice system, which is both expensive and ineffective.
A specialty centre for mental illness and brain disorders and an intensive care unit for acutely ill would be a more effective use of taxpayer dollars.
Waiting in a community hospital emergency ward is not nice at the best of times.
Keeping people in their own community is preferable and it does work for many.
But when someone is acutely ill or has an unstable chronic mental illness, a specialized centre would be better.
We have an opportunity to establish such a facility on the grounds of the former provincial mental hospital, Riverview.
The centre should be centrally located to communities in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, with the benefit of mature, healing trees, and be provincially owned.
This would not be a return to Riverview, by a special centre for research and innovative treatment.