VICTORIA, B.C. - With mental health in decline, the B.C. Green Caucus is calling for the BC NDP to cover psychologists under MSP. This would help expand the access and affordability of mental health services and ensure all British Columbians can access the health care they require.
“People need early intervention in their mental health,” said Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley. “With all the talk on involuntary care, nothing has been said by the Premier or the Leader of the Opposition on proactive, preventive mental health care. While treatment options must absolutely be expanded, we must also recognize that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It’s time to treat the brain as part of the body.”
“Our health care system does not provide enough of the specialized mental health care that people need,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands. “As a result, our walk-in clinics and emergency rooms become the de facto provider for people experiencing mental health challenges. Ineffectively treating mental illness costs our healthcare system twice as much as providing appropriate care in the first place.”
“Covering psychologists under MSP is a commonsense solution to one part of our healthcare crisis,” said Furstenau. “As Premier Eby scrambles to spend the budget surplus, he also has a huge opportunity to invest in community health centres, get them built and up and running so that psychologists, doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals can all get together to support British Columbians.”
The B.C. Greens have consistently called for psychologists to be covered under MSP, most recently in 2022.