Sooke Region Mental Health and Addictions Services Inventory
At the Sooke Health Forum in 2018, Island Health highlighted Sooke residents’ Mental Health needs (depression in particular) were relatively higher when compared with the rest of Vancouver Island. To note, Sooke is a service hub for neighbouring CRD localities East Sooke, Otter Point, Shirley, Jordan River and Port Renfrew and First Nations reservations Scia’new, T’Sou-ke and Pacheedaht. The total population of the Sooke Region is around 18,000 people.
There is a general understanding that people suffering from mental health issues may choose to not be assisted in Sooke as there is still a stigma around mental illness, and will prefer to travel to West Shore and Victoria to access services. There is also the reverse side of the coin, where the services may not exist in Sooke or if they exist the waiting list is too long to expect any assistance in the near future and need to travel further afield to get support, which can be logistically challenging. Unfortunately, because of logistical barriers, some individuals do not seek needed care, which exacerbates their condition.
The objective is to accumulate quantitative and qualitative data describing challenges and impacts that are experienced by service providers, consumers and family/caregivers. Building upon this information, the Sooke Region Communities Health Network (SRCHN) seeks to undertake an inventory and analysis of current mental health and addiction services in Sooke.
SRCHN established a Mental Health and Addictions working group to support with this project. Its members include a retired public health nurse, a mental health support worker and a retired psychologist and university professor, the latter will advise the group on the process, content of the survey and final report. This tool will identify with more clarity the actual and expected future service needs.
SRCHN will approach relevant mental health, substance use and addictions service providers, consumers, family caregivers through surveys, focus groups, and one-to-one interviews.
This project will be completed in its entirety by December 2022 at the latest.
The staff conducting the survey shall comply with the provincial privacy provisions and regulations in the course of conducting the survey. The staff conducting the survey will use and/or disclose the data, information, reports, material or other documents of any nature which are disclosed, revealed or transmitted to them, or to which they have access, solely for the purpose of conducting the survey. Staff will ensure that personal information used during the survey shall be retained in accordance with regulation and will ensure that any personal information to be disposed of upon completion of the survey. Audio recordings may be taken to assure accuracy of information only, and will be erased before the end of this project. Permission will be requested in advance. Names of individual respondents will not be recorded on documents, but in order to identify survey responses by survey type a coding system will be adopted.
Impact of this research
The reality that Mental Health and Addictions are significant health concerns in Sooke is not news to health care professionals and consumers. However, this report is expected to show more precisely the discrepancy between MHSA service type and quantity of demand versus the availability of service, and the variance of perception of service provided and received. Results will inform Primary Care Network service delivery in the Sooke Region and impact the overall design of health conversations taking place in our communities.
 Protection of privacy and information best practices will be adhered to: https://www.ipc.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/best-practices-for-protecting-individual-privacy-in-conducting-survey-research.pdf