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Will Reopening Riverview Hospital Help Combat the Opioid Crisis in BC?


Photo: Niall Williams / Flickr

Riverview hospital is set to reopen in 2019 after growing concern regarding the lack of care for people struggling with mental health issues in Metro Vancouver.

Indeed, the incumbent NDP government made the decision after a great push from local communities and public figures.

“People afflicted by mental illness and addiction need better support and care. We’re getting to work to fix the problems and give people the help they need,” Premier Horgan said. “Today’s ground breaking is an important step toward improving mental health and addictions treatment services in British Columbia.”

In addition to local communities, the mayor of Coquitlam released a teary statement over Facebook calling for the revival of the institution. He had just attended the funeral of a young man who lost his life to addiction from mental health issues.


The opioid crisis has claimed an alarming number of lives this year alone, and the numbers continue to rise. In fact, the government has considered charging fentanyl dealers with manslaughter in order to combat the issue.

Riverview Hospital and Mental Health

With that being said, raising the punishments for dealers won’t eradicate drug abuse. Indeed, many addicts deal with mental health issues that are unable to get the proper care for.

The question remains: will Riverview Mental Health Centre significantly assist people dealing with mental health and addictions issues?

A great deal of people recall the way that the hospital was run many years ago, and its legacy is extremely disturbing. While the centre will be organized much differently and have a different vision, many worry it won’t serve as a positive force in the community.

On the contrary, there are a number of people that believe it is a very positive change for the future of mental health in the lower mainland.

Do you think that reopening Riverview Mental Health Centre will help combat the opioid crisis? Will help those most vulnerable with their mental health issues? Is it a bad idea?

Sound off in the comments below! 


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