Town Hall: The path to free mental health care

Join BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau, along with mental health experts, for a discussion about improving access to mental health care and what’s needed to achieve a no-cost system.


British Columbians are experiencing a mental health crisis that has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

An increasing number of people are being diagnosed with mental illness, but there’s not enough support available to match the need. Mental health should be incorporated into our provincial healthcare system, because the brain is part of the body.

British Columbians need accessible, no-cost mental health supports, starting by incorporating psychologists into our primary care system.


Sonia Furstenau will speak on a panel with Dr Simon Elterman and Dr Erika Penner, moderated by Nazanin Moghadami. 

hile he completed his graduate education in London, Portland, and Seattle, Dr. Simon Elterman was born and raised in Vancouver and is happy to finally be back home. Dr. Elterman’s clinical experience includes community-based mental health, chronic pain assessment and management, and several years of integrated primary care work, including a year in Seattle; where he was supervised and taught by some of the leading figures in integrated primary care in the world. Dr. Elterman is currently working at the Hope to Health Research and Innovation clinic, which is a primary care clinic on the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, providing integrated care services to some of our province’s most complex and vulnerable individuals.

Dr. Erika Penner is a registered psychologist. Her clinical practice is in medical psychology at BC Children's Hospital where she is also active in the research community as a Clinical Investigator with the BC Children's Research Institute. She is a clinical associate at Simon Fraser University and also works as part of a tertiary level multidisciplinary team as the psychologist at the Provincial Assessment Centre. She joins this panel in her capacity as one of the Directors of Public Advocacy for the BC Psychological Association.

Originally from Iran, Nazanin is a clinical counsellor and former MLA candidate with the BC Greens. She has lived and worked in Vancouver for the past 15 years. Her passion and work centres around social justice and anti-oppression, and that’s why Nazanin thinks it is not possible to be a counsellor and a healer without being an activist and advocate first. Her work with refugees, survivors of gender-based violence, especially sexual assault and persecution against SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) has given her perspective on how policies and societal structures shape our mental health responses. Nazanin believes non-carceral, equitable, justice oriented policies and practices greatly benefit our mental wellbeing.


Wed. May 12, 2021
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM

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