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Mental Health Strategy

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Personal Resilience Workshops

The nursing profession is highly demanding with many physical and psychological hazards. Many nurses are routinely exposed to trauma, violence and human suffering on a daily basis. BC​NU has approved a series of workshops​ designed to help nurses identify things like compassion fatigue and post traumatic stress disorder in themselves and their colleagues. Dates for 2017 workshops have been added to the BCNU Events Calendar​.

Mental Health System Reform Position Statement

Between January and March of 2015, BCNU hosted 10 workshops across BC attended by over 70 front-line nurses working in the mental health care system.  The participants came from diverse areas of practice; from perinatal care of women with mental illness and addictions, to nurses working with the elderly; community to forensics, urban, rural and remote communities; new grads to nurses with thirty years of experience. Together they developed consensus documents articulating their shared vision of care and support and ideas for positive change that would benefit people and families struggling with mental illness in this province. ​Collectively their voice has informed the final version of our position statement ​that was approved by the Mental Health Strategy Steering committee and by BCNU Council.   
All participants completed an online course and workbook prior to the workshops in order to familiarize themselves with the current literature on best practices in mental health care service provision, other important Canadian policy documents on this subject and to begin to think about reform at a systems level.   The online course is organized into 4 modules with short segments (none more than 3 minutes long).  The course received very positive feedback and our participants recommended that we make it and the other supporting documents ​widely available to BCNU members.  

Mental Health Strategy​

In November of 2013, BCNU Council approved a new and exciting strategic direction for a Mental Health Strategy. Our commitment is to advocate for patients and families and to offer ideas grounded in best practice and evidence, informed by the front-​line experience of our members.

The costs incurred through the current ineffective and siloed approaches to mental illness within the health care, policing and criminal justice systems are enormous. The people of British Columbia want all parties to collaborate in devising programs and services that deliver safe, sustainable quality mental health ​care now and for the future. BCNU will lead the development of a new model of care that supports better outcomes and delivers value to the people of BC.

​Goals for the Mental Health Strategy

​Better care for patients

  • Fixing a fragmented and overburdened system that drives a vicious cycle of homelessness, incarceration and despair.
  • Use research and evidence to identify leading practices and innovation from across the globe.
  • Ask nurses for their ideas on issues and solutions.

Safer workplaces for nurses

  • Addressing violence, bullying, workload and creating respectful and supportive workplaces.
  • Use data to identify best practices for great nursing workplaces.
  • Enforce safe staffing and bargain for better benefits for mental health treatment.
  • Provide resources and supports for members struggling with mental illness.

A better system for British Columbians

  • Create a media campaign highlighting issues and the important role nurses play in the solutions.
  • Emphasize the cost to the system - human and financial - of the current model.​


​​​Mental Health Strategy Steering Committee - Terms of ​Reference

Committee Chair:
Gayle DuteilPresident, BCNU

Committee Co-Chair:
Adriane Gear, Executive Councillor - Health and Safety​

General Members:
Andrea RauhSteward - St. Paul's Hospital
Carole Anne Pominville, Steward - Forensic Psychiatric Hospital
Dan Murphy​​, Executive Councillor - Mental Health - ON LEAVE
Deb Picco, Co-Chair - Simon Fraser Region - ON LEAVE
​Debra McPherson, Past President, BCNU
Lori Skene, Steward - Hillside Psychiatric Centre
Michelle GrantSteward - Community Mental Health (VIHA)

Updated: 9/21/2017 1:22 PM

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