PRIORITY: Promoting Family Involvement among Health Professionals

Caregiving_MHCC_Family_Caregivers_Guidelines_ENG[1]The National Guidelines for Family Caregivers recognize the invaluable contribution that families make caring for the mentally ill. Health professionals need to recognize these contributions, support families, and work with them to ensure the best care possible for people living with mental illness.

Background: In June 2013, the Mental Health Commission of Canada issued the National Guidelines for Family Caregivers of Adults with Mental Illness. These Guidelines focus on the serious concerns of families who care for and support a loved one with mental illness. Most importantly, the Guidelines present an evidence-based, informed, and comprehensive approach to helping families cope, and identify essential measures to meet their needs. As such, the Guidelines are an important resource for all health professionals who work with mentally ill individuals and families.

Aim: Raise awareness of the Guidelines among Regional Health Authorities, professional colleges, medical associations, and schools of various health disciplines to ensure health professionals and agencies are well informed and work towards implementation of the Guidelines.

Results: We have received responses from the Minister of Health and each of the Regional Health Authorities. They have assured us that the Guidelines would be disseminated among their mental health teams and committees tasked with mental health concerns. They also outlined the steps already being taken within their jurisdictions to include families in the care of their loved ones. Few professional colleges have responded and they have insisted that distributing the Guidelines is a task for medical associations rather than regulatory bodies. Medical associations have been slow to respond but those that have responded have taken steps to share the Guidelines with their members. Some responses from various schools of health disciplines have been very enthusiastic, with plans to incorporate the Guidelines in coursework and requests for additional information. Many administrators have made the Guidelines available to faculty, students and other relevant personnel.

Relevant Documents:

Ministry and Regional Health Authorities

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  • Ministry of Health
  • Fraser Health Authority
  • Interior Health Authority
  • Northern Health Authority
  • Provincial Health Services Authority
  • Vancouver Coastal Health
  • Vancouver Island Health Authority

Professional Colleges

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  • British Columbia College of Social Workers
  • College of Licensed Practical Nurses of BC
  • College of Naturopathic Physicians of BC
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC
  • College of Psychologists of BC
  • College of Registered Nurses of BC
  • College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of BC

Medical Associations

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  • Association of Registered Nurses of BC
  • BC Association of Social Workers
  • BC Psychiatric Association
  • BC Psychological Association
  • Doctors of BC
  • Society of General Practitioners of BC
  • Licensed Practical Nurses Association of BC

Schools of Health Disciplines

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  • British Columbia Institute of Technology – Nursing
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology – Specialty Nursing
  • Camosun College Lansdowne – Nursing
  • College of New Caledonia – School of Health Sciences
  • College of the Rockies – Health, Human & Family Programs
  • Douglas College – Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Faculty of Health
  • Langara College – Health Sciences
  • Nicola Valley Institute of Technology – Social Work
  • North Island College – Nursing
  • Northern Medical Program – Education & Research
  • Northwest Community College – Health Sciences, Social Services and ECE
  • Okanagan College – Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Selkirk College – Health and Human Services
  • Thompson Rivers University – School of Nursing
  • Thompson Rivers University – Social Work and Human Services
  • Trinity Western University – School of Nursing
  • University of the Fraser Valley – Nursing Program
  • University of the Fraser Valley – School of Social Work and Human Services
  • University of British Columbia – Faculty of Medicine
  • University of British Columbia – Occupational Therapy
  • University of British Columbia – School of Nursing
  • University of British Columbia – School of Social Work
  • University of British Columbia – Southern Medical Program
  • University of British Columbia – Vancouver Fraser Medical Program
  • University of British Columbia Okanagan – School of Nursing
  • University of Northern British Columbia – Social Work
  • University of Victoria – Island Medical Program
  • University of Victoria – School of Nursing
  • University of Victoria – Social Work
  • Vancouver Community College – School of Health Sciences
  • Vancouver Island University – Nursing
  • Vancouver Island University – Social Services

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