Mental Health Task Force a Big Tent
Mayor Won't Share Details of Deliberations
Time to test your memory, people.
Remember last September when Mayor Gregor Robertson and Police Chief Jim Chu told us how this city was in a mental health crisis?
Remember when one month later Robertson announced at city council that he was creating a task force to tackle the problem of mental health - and addictions?
I remember all this because I wrote about it.
But, you ask, what ever happened to that task force?
I was thinking the same thing.
We're in April now and I haven't heard a peep.
So I contacted the mayor's office and discovered that not only had Robertson put together a task force but it had met five times.
And get this: There are 67 people on the task force!
And, it seems, everybody in this town connected to the issue of mental health and addictions is a member.
Here's some names you may be familiar with: Dr. Patricia Daly of Vancouver Coastal Health, B.C. Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay, Marjorie White of the Aboriginal Mothers' Centre, Rob Turnbull of the Streetohome Foundation, Darrell Burnham of Coast Mental Health, Dave Hamm of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, Karen O'Shannacery of Lookout Emergency Aid Society and, well, the list goes on.
Of course, Chu is on the task force.
There's also people from the ministry of health, Corrections, the Vancouver Police Board, the psychiatry department at the University of B.C., the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, Providence Health ( which oversees St. Paul's Hospital ) and a dozen folks from the City of Vancouver, including chief housing officer Mukhtar Latif.