Robert Downie, MA, Chief Constable Saanich Police

To Whom It May concern,

Re: Establishing a Clubhouse International Model Resource in Greater Victoria

I am writing to encourage the Island Health Authority, in collaboration with community and health partners, to establish a Clubhouse International resource to support those living with mental health issues.  I have recently been made aware of the Clubhouse International Model through local community members such as Victoria City Councillor Lisa Helps and Moms Like Us representatives Jackie Powell and Beth Danskin as well as several others.

I was provided information about the program and the proactive and preventative aspects of long term impacts made possible with such a program.  As you know, mental health issues account for a high percentage of calls for service for police in Greater Victoria and throughout North America, and often those calls are simply the result of people being in crisis without adequate support.  A clubhouse has the potential to help "members" develop relationships, have a sense of purpose, develop routines (which include maintaining treatment regimens), engage in employment, and many other benefits.

I receive calls as Chief Constable of the Saanich Police from citizens who are pleading for help and feel they have no support to help them looks after friends and family who are suffering from mental health issues.  In many cases these people feel as though their loved ones are in danger of hurting themselves or others, and in other cases they simply do not have the capacity to provide the level of care and supervision deemed necessary.  The Clubhouse model can provide such support and the resources required to make a difference.

I was also advised of the success of the Richmond / CMHA initiative Pathways Clubhouse.  It seems to be a model that would serve our community well and work to close a service gap that exists in the CRD.  From a social return on investment perspective, the Richmond Clubhouse boasts a $14.00 return on every dollar invested.  So while finding in health generally, and mental health specifically, is tight, the Richmond experience would show us this is where we need to be investing health finding.

While I could go on, I will conclude by offering my unwavering support and the support of the Saanich Police for Island Health to establish a Clubhouse type of resource here in the CRD, both to reduce calls for service for police, and, more importantly, to provide the much needed level of support and care that those living with mental health issues deserve.

For more information about Clubhouse international can be found at www.iccd.org and information on the Richmond Pathways Clubhouse can be found at http://richmond.cmha.bc.ca/how-we-can-help/support-services.  Locally, I would encourage you to contact Lisa Helps (lisa@lisahelpsvictoria.ca), Jackie Powell at momslikeus2014@gmail.com or Beth Danskin at bethmomslikeus@gmail.com to assess the level of community support.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.  Please let me know if there is more information I can provide you, or if I can assist in helping you move this forward.

Sincerely,

Robert A. Downie, MA
Chief Constable