2014 saw Vancouver hospitals hit a six-year high for emergency mental health visits (St. Paul's Hospital)

In 2014, Vancouver emergency departments recorded an increase in the number of people experiencing a mental health crisis for the fifth year in a row.

St. Paul’s Hospital and Vancouver General Hospital together saw 9,790 emergency mental health visits last year, according to statistics provided to the Straight by Providence Health Care. That’s up 4.8 per cent from 2013 and marks a 50.2 per cent increase since 2009.

Both hospitals’ emergency rooms also had more substance-misuse cases. In 2014, there were 5,660 drug-related visits, up 11.6 per cent from the previous year and an increase of 103.7 per cent from five years earlier.

Travis Lupick reports

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