In 1957, a mental health centre opened in Burnaby. This one provided out-patient psychiatric care and focused on treating emotionally disturbed adults in the early stages of mental illness. By starting treatment early enough it often meant the patient wouldn't have to be admitted to a mental hospital. The clinic also offered after care for patients who had been previously treated.
There was also the Broadway Clinic in Vancouver and both of these clinics were given support and expertise from Essondale. In the 1960's other clinics opened in Kelowna and Victoria. By the mid-1970's, there were 30 community mental health centres across B.C.
Dr. Soma Ganesan Physician Leader, Riverview Hospital, 2003-?
Moving from an institution to the outside world can be a big adjustment especially if the patient was institutionalized for a long period of time. The idea of independent living was embraced by many but it took some time to get the appropriate community resources in place.
“There was disappointment that community services weren’t adequate. It seemed as though the plan got lost; people moved out first and then they developed the services, which isn’t the way you should do it. It’s hard to provide mental health services for people in the community; it’s not that people don’t want to but it’s hard to maintain people so that they’re safe and they have some kind of meaningful life.”
Alice McSweeney Staff psychologist intermittently from 1948-1974
Thanks to the PDF, Riverview a Legacy of Care and Compassion for the above information.
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