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Restore Riverview Hospital & Lands as a Centre of Excellence for Mental Health

This petition had 3,904 supporters

Coalition for a Healthy Riverview (CHR) represents mental health, social justice, environmental, horticultural, art and heritage groups, as well as individual citizens who are advocating for the protection and restoration of the Riverview Hospital and Lands in Coquitlam.

 Our mission statement is:To retain the publicly owned Riverview Lands as a Centre of Excellence for Mental Wellness, set within the existing world class arboretum and surrounding green space.”

The downsizing of Riverview has been correlated with a dramatic increase in drug use and addiction within the regional mental health population, especially within the deinstitutionalized population. Subsequent failure to provide housing and supports for people experiencing serious mental health issues is a major factor leading to the present mental health crisis in communities throughout BC.

Riverview’s closing resulted in loss of valuable mental health education, training capacity and expertise. This has negatively impacted BC’s capacity to educate, train and support practitioners who work with seriously mentally ill and severely addicted and mentally ill (SAMI) people.

Riverview Hospital is located within a spectacular campus-like setting, including a world class open-grown arboretum. In addition to enhancing the healing aspects of the site, the Riverview Lands provide a natural space to be enjoyed by local residents. The arboretum is home to ~1800 mature trees, some of which are unique to Western Canada. The individual trees have been assessed at $50 million. However, as a collection, the arboretum is worth much more.

Riverview also provides habitat for wildlife such as black-tailed deer, black bears, bobcats, coyotes, raccoons and beaver. Birdwatchers have identified over 80 bird species, including three species of owls.

The Riverview buildings date from 1913 to 1955, and many deserve heritage designation as examples of 20th-century B.C. architecture. The National Trust for Canada listed Riverview as one of Canada's top 10 most endangered heritage sites in 2013. The entire Riverview site is included on Municipal and Provincial heritage registries, but carries no formal protection. In 2009 an effort to declare Riverview a National Historic Site was blocked by the provincial (Liberal) government.

Contrary to the wishes of the majority of TriCities residents, BC Provincial Liberal Government’s current plans for the future of Riverview entail woefully limited mental health facilities, significant development including high-density market housing and an economic zone to achieve a “break-even” mandate. No commitment has been made to preserve the surrounding green-space or arboretum.

Join CHR in sending a strong, collective message to our elected representatives telling them to retain Riverview in its entirety as a public asset dedicated as a Centre of Excellence for Mental Wellness set within the existing arboretum and green-space. 

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Today: Coalition for a Healthy Riverview is counting on you

Coalition for a Healthy Riverview needs your help with “MLA Rich Coleman: Restore Riverview Hospital & Lands as a Centre of Excellence for Mental Health”. Join Coalition for a Healthy Riverview and 3,903 supporters today.