Understanding community capacity in mental health reform through an examination of the gendered dimensions of the Riverview redevelopment process in British Columbia

Recent mental health reforms in British Columbia have resulted in a shift in the way services are delivered to people with serious and chronic mental health problems. Specifically, the main source of care for people has shifted from the provincial psychiatric hospital (Riverview Hospital) to smaller care facilities located in various regions throughout the province. Dr. Marina Morrow is studying the impact of these service changes on various groups affected by deinstitutionalization by examining the experiences and needs of recipients of mental health services, family members of people with mental illness, mental health care providers, administrators, advocates, and community members. Dr. Morrow is particularly focussing on issues relating to gender, and how the needs of women and men leaving Riverview Hospital might differ. Dr. Morrow is also examining the capacity of the current mental health system to respond to individuals, that have been newly discharged from Riverview, to ensure their successful integration into communities, and how the system can provide community-based support to individuals who become ill in the future. Dr. Morrow hopes the results from her research will contribute to improving the mental health care system’s response to people with serious and chronic mental health problems so that they can live full and productive lives in their communities.