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Linking services to connect people: BC's services to people with alcoholism and depression

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People who have mental health and addictions problems have traditionally struggled to find to services appropriate for their needs because services were not equipped to address them. Through a case study of health authority service plans and interviews with depression and alcoholism service providers, I sought to identify service gaps for people with mild-to-moderate depression and alcoholism and potential opportunities to address them. I looked for situations where intersectoral work could help in addressing service gaps. Through this research, I saw that people with mild-to-moderate depression and alcoholism use their primary health-care provider for support, with inconsistent quality of care. Community based services available to this population vary in availability, program type, counselling, cost and target group across BC so connecting people to appropriate services is difficult. My findings suggest that support to people with depression and alcoholism can be improved by including people’s existing social relationships in treatment plans and by using appreciative inquiry to build true partnerships at the health authority level.
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