Sunday, September 21, 2014

Transport Services AKA Garage

       Built starting in March of 1953, completed by 1954, additions in 1968-9 the Central Mechanical Depot, later officially known as Transport Services, was used until 2012, when it was abandoned.  It was dormant for at least a year, and then this article appeared in the local newspaper:  Demolition at Riverview raises concerns   18 February 2014.

      The site prior to being used for as a garage was used to house animals, and probably before that to grow plants, since a large plant nursery was active in this area for many years.

          Well the demolition is now over and a large pit has been created in an attempt to remediate the hydrocarbons that escaped through the years; must have been considerable, because the smell when I was there on Sunday, the 21st of September was very strong of old hydrocarbons.

Here is a photo of how it looked on the 17th of August 2012.

And on the 7th of April of this year, ONE   TWO    THREE  fencing surrounding the compound, demolition imminent.   And also a photo from May 12th 2014.

I have also created a set of photographs of the compound on Flickr, which shows the present state of the site, and one day hopefully some of the older images of the compound that must exist somewhere out there in the ether.

And now, a little of the social history, and activities of the Transport Services.

1968 THE LEADER  ( the patients newsletter )

This article deals with the Transport Department of the Mental Health Branch at Riverview. The Riverview Garage serves as the home base for a total of over 60 cars and trucks, and several busses. This figure does not include 15 tractors, and other vehicles and equipment serviced at the garage, which constitutes a pool where vehicles are serviced both for the Mental Health Branch and the Department of Public Works (D.P.W.).
All of the trucks, and there are eight of them, on which the Riverview patients work, come under the Mental Health Branch, as do the drivers and swampers on these trucks, three of which — two laundry trucks and the milk truck — as well as one of the busses, are in operation seven days a week. Later in this article, I shall describe a typical day’s schedule of the vehicle with which I am most familiar, the “Woodland’s Milk Truck,” which is a misnomer in two senses, since the truck is based at Riverview, and delivering milk is only one of its many functions.
The car pool at the Riverview Garage consists of sixteen vehicles, including one ambulance and a station wagon — of these sixteen vehicles, thirteen are radio-equipped. The ground patrol and the commissionaires at Riverview also draw their cars from the pool at the garage. The commissionaires, working on three shifts, come under the supervision of Constable Richard Gordon Brookbank the resident RCMP officer. The cars attached to the garage perform an extremely wide variety of services — for instance, making emergency trips to Vancouver for blood for transfusions. This, of course, is only one example out of hundreds of duties performed by the cars.
Obviously, without the Transport Department, Riverview would come to an immediate standstill. This equally applies to Valleyview and the Woodlands School, since all three institutions receive all their milk from Colony Farm, and their bread, meat, groceries, and housekeeping supplies, etc., from Riverview’sbakery and central stores.
The milk truck’s operations begin about 7:30 a.m., picking up bread at the bakery and empty milk cans from North LawnWest LawnCentre LawnEast LawnCrease and Riverside in that order. The milk supplies are then taken on board for Woodlands, and the truck then proceeds to the Riverview butcher shop for the meat for Woodlands. The normal complement or crew of patients on the truck is five or six. Two of these are Woodlands patients, Bob Mitchell, 24 and Walter Mead, 35, who picks up mail for the Essondale Post office and documents for the Dogwood CreditUnion. After a coffee break at Woodlands, the truck returns to Colony Farm for the Riverview milk supply, and after this has been delivered to the various kitchens (excluding Hillside), and the mail and briefcase of documents safely delivered, the morning’s work is complete. (On Mondays, the truck also delivers films to Woodlands from the Audio-Visual Department, which is located in the Riverview Industrial Therapy building)
Incidentally, the milk truck’s work begins 20 minutes or more before that of the other trucks, and ends a little earlier. The Charge Nurse, Mr. O. Davey, and other nursing staff on the writer’s ward, A—1, have been very helpful and co-operative in enabling the writer to eat an early breakfast at 7:00 a.m., as have the dietary staff. Patients from West Lawn, Centre Lawn, and Crease all work on the truck, and for the orderly operation on schedule of all the trucks of which patients work, the utmost co-operation of their Charge Nurses and of the Dietary Staff in getting them to work on time is warmly appreciated by the patients and the Transport Department.
The milk truck’s afternoon’s work begins at 12:30, when supplies for Woodlands are picked up at the Riverview stores. Two or three afternoons a week, the truck also takes shipments of supplies to the C.P. and C.N. Express Depots at New Westminster for distribution to the various mental health centres throughout B. C. — to Tranquille School (Kamloops); Dellview (at Kelowna), Skeenaview (at Terrace), Nanaimo, and so on. The truck calls at the Depot in New Westminster five days a week for shipments to Riverview.
The average afternoon load of groceries and other supplies for Woodlands varies from 1 to 3 or 4 tons or more. Most of the supplies go to the Woodlands kitchens #1. and #2 (Fraserview), but some are taken directly by the truck to the wards, which also delivers supplies occasionally to the Woodlands D.P.W., Occupational Therapy, Boiler House, etc.
The present milk truck driver is the amiable Jerry Langley. Until recently the former driver was Bert Pemberton who like his wife Mrs. Kathy Pemberton, was for some years a nurse at Riverview. Mr. Pemberton still works on the truck. The drivers’ and swampers’ work on all the trucks entails very considerable responsibility, as they have not only to carry out efficiently the daily trucking operations, but have also to supervise tactfully patients who in some cases are completely unfamiliar with the work and require a good deal of careful guidance and direction. Thus the staff on the trucks are not merely drivers and swampers — their work is also in a large degree therapeutic.
A further complication is that the number of patients on each truck may vary from day to day, as some have to remain on the wards for doctors’ or dental appointments, or other reasons. Thus there are occasionally days when, on the milk truck, the driver and one patient perform duties which are normally carried out by a crew of five or six.
The writer, as already noted, is chiefly familiar with the milk truck, but has met a number of the other drivers at the garage and at the central stores. The work is healthy and invigorating for the patients, and relations between them and the Transport Department’s staff are excellent.
The Acting Supervisor of the Department is Mr. Bob Thompson. The Department already functions at a high level of efficiency, a statement which the writer can make based on his experiences ‘with trucking operations conducted by private business firms. To raise this level of efficiency still higher, every effort is made to rotate the truck drivers, swampers, and car drivers from job to job, so that in the event of the illness or absence of one or more of them, others can take their place temporarily without any difficulties, by already being completely familiar with the work.
This article, though it does not begin to cover all the multifarious operations of the Transport Department, should completely erase any misconception that the trucks, cars, busses and other vehicles merely work within the Riverview grounds, or that their operations are not extremely complex and diverse.
 --- 30 ---

1968 Hospital Annual Report


       A vehicle preventive maintenance programme was introduced in September; this project requires the call-in and inspection of cars every 2,000 miles and trucks every 1,000 miles. Plans have been drawn for the renovation of the transport garage by the Department of Public Works. Orders have been raised for the purchase of a new ambulance and it is expected that the ambulance services will be transferred from Nursing to Transport administration as soon as the physical facilities have been improved. The Transport Division also assists in the process of rehabilitation and endeavours to assist patients in auto mechanics trades and to assist in their transition from the hospital.

--- 30 ---


  George C. Tanner

      Mr. George C. Tanner has recently been appointed Supervisor of Transport at Essondale. He succeeds the late Gordon Nolan (1). Mr. Tanner comes to us having just completed 24 years’ service with the Armed Forces, retiring with the rank of Warrant Officer, (R.C.A.F.)
Mr. Tanner, born in Winnipeg, was educated in Saskatchewan, although did attend school in Vancouver on Burrard Street, for a brief year and a half as a child. Mr. Tanner has had very extensive training in all phases of transportation to name a few - Vehicle mechanic; Automotive Vehicle repairs; Safety Supervisor; (accident investigation, vehicle operating safety, etc.); Supervisor Service Training School; Supervisor and Management, School of Instructional Techniques and others.
His military service has taken Mr. Tanner to all parts of Canada, and beyond, from Grande Prairie, Alberta, to Summerside, P.E.I. – Aishihik, Yukon, where he was N.C.O. in charge of the detachment, as well as being “godfather” to a band of Indians from there all the way to Metz, France, in the office of the Staff officer, Mobile Support Equipment, Air Division Headquarters.
Mr. Tanner is married, (no children). He and his wife have just built their own home in Ladner. His interests include curling, bowling, coin collecting, and, in future, gardening. We hope he will enjoy his position at Riverview Hospital.
 --- 30 ---

     1968 February  THE LEADER: 
Gordon Nolan joined in 1945, as resident chauffeur. Soon afterwards a mechanic and driver were added, forming the nucleus of the Transportation Department, which at the time of Mr. Nolan's death numbered 23. Mr. Nolan was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Tank Corps, and was wounded in France.  Born and educated in Coquitlam, Mr. Nolan is survived by his wife, mother and two brothers.
  Gordon Thomas Nolan    b. 11 May 1918 Vancouver, B.C. - 19 January 1968 St. Mary's hospital, New Westminster, B.C.  home: Cottage 108 , which is the chauffeur's home.    He died of a  Grade III, Astrocytoma  
Gordon was married to, Dorothy Ellen Wingrove. (1918 - 1999 )
Grave marker at Port Coquitlam cemetery for Dorothy Ellen Nolan nee Dorothy Ellen Wingrove
[ I am not totally sure but Dorothy could be a daughter of George Wingrove, ( 1877 - 1955 ) and Edith Mary Fisher ( 1881 - 1947 ). George worked at Essondale as a plasterer. ]

Gordon Thomas Nolan's  parents were married in 1910 at Fernie, B.C. 
  FATHER:  Edward James Nolan  ( 1885 - 1955 ) Edward worked at Essondale as an attendant, first listed in the directories in 1927 onwards.
MOTHER: Jeannie Arbuckle  ( 1889 - 1970 )
Sons: Garry D. Nolan, Oakland, California {possible match: born 20 October 1930 -  4 April 2009 Nevada, U.S.A.};  Gordon Thomas Nolan ( 25 February 1912, B.C. - 13 July 1915 Odd Fellows Lawn Cemetery and Mausoleum
Sacramento,Sacramento County, California, USA

Gordon Thomas Nolan  ( 1912 - 1915 )

    So it appears that the parents married in Fernie, moved to California for a while, and then moved back to B.C., living in Vancouver, then Port Coquitlam.

-- 30 ---


     Early in December, the Transportation Department put into service the new ambulance shown in our picture.
        Mr. Tanner, Supervisor, reports that the vehicle is larger and roomier than the former hospital ambulance. The make is a Ford, Econoline van, which was converted by the Universal Manufacturing Company of Cloverdale, B.C. The improved features consist of slide cot, oxygen with complete suction unit, and a jump seat for the attendant. The rear may easily be converted to carry 4-5 ambulatory passengers and there is a side door as well as the rear entrance. For those who unfortunately must ride, the trip will be smoother.
--- 30 ---

John Keith Judd

       We wish to introduce our readers to the new Transport Supervisor at Riverview Hospital, Mr. John Keith Judd, who recently assumed his duties at the Hospital.
Mr. Judd was raised arid attended schools in the Vancouver area. 

          After a career of 21 years in the R.C.A.F., in the Mechanical Division, Mr. Judd took his retirement in 1966 and since that time has been associated with mining operations.[ Note: he continued with mining exploration, after leaving Riverview, references to him in B.C.  up to 1984 ]
He is the father of a family of 6 (4 boys and 2 girls) ranging in ages from 10 - 23 years of age.
For many years Mr. Judd was actively interested and worked with the Boy Scouts. At present he still lends moral support to their work.
Besides his interest in scouting Mr. Judd is a keen hunter and fisherman.
We hope his tenure here will be happy and that all those “wheels” (cars, buses and station wagons) under his care, run happily too. 
--- 30 ---
 OBITUARY for John Keith Judd

John Keith Judd, in uniform

 John Keith Judd passed away July 3rd, 2013, at the age of 85 in the Rocky Mountain House Hospital with his loving wife and daughters by his side.
Keith Judd was born in Taber Alberta on April 15th 1928 to John Ferrel and Hattie Mae Collett. He was predeceased by his parents and younger brothers Marvin Leroy Judd and Barrie Linwood Judd. He is survived by his younger sister Marilyn Mae (Judd) Husdon (Raymond Husdon).
Keith Joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1946 and served his country in numerous postings across Canada for twenty years. During the early part of his Air Force Career he met his loving wife Margaret Kathleen Morrison and was married for over 65 years. They had 6 children; John Gordon Judd, Thomas Keith Judd (Marie), Bryan Douglas Judd ( Shelley), Cheryl Lynn Volkaert, Leslie Wayne Judd (Julie) and Karen Lee Jahraus (Dan). They have 22 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren. After leaving the Air Force, Keith took his skills to the British Columbia Ministry of Health where he was in charge of the transportation department for the lower mainland. Upon his retirement Keith and Margaret returned to Alberta and moved to Rocky Mountain House area where they have resided for the past 13 years. Keith is fondly remembered by family, and friends for his positive outlook on life, his wry sense of humor and his unwavering commitment to his wife, family and faith.
 --- 30 ---

 Photo from 1989 report

Photo from 1989 report

Photo from 1989 report

  1993-1994 from the staff newsletter

          It seems a lot of people have been retiring from Transport Department this year, and the is the tall and smiling Paul Jelic (centre), seen here with some of his mates. They are from left: Jane Johnson, Ernie Steves, Rollie Croteau, Paul Jelic, Madge Drennan, Cathy Smith, Monica Medfors, Norma Gillespie, Tony Stadig, and Irene Chorney.
--- 30 ---
1995 July, staff newsletter
    This hardy crew from Transport won the safety obstacle race event in Safety Week and was the best over-all team. an annual plaque, which has been presented for the third time has been engraved with their names which are -
 from left: Irene Chorney, Tony Stadig, Jane Johnson, and Norma Gillespie.
--- 30 ---
1991 July   Insight
Enjoying the scenery from the deck of the Britannia as she sailed out of Coal Harbour with Stanley Park in the background, are Lorraine Barber and Tony Standig(centre)..... 350 staff went on a cruise..
--- 30 ---
1991 Insight
       Ed Bennett (left) from Patient Escort, and Gilles St. Hilaire of Transport represent their departments to receive the safety award being presented by Industrial Services manage, Pat Horie. Both departments tied with a no-accident record in the latter part of the 1990/91 fiscal year. The plaque will be presented every year in the annual contest and will be engraved with the name of the winning department.

--- 30 ---
1992 Insight
Joanell Bailey
     Transport manager Rollie Croteau presents gifts from fellow employees and friends to Jaonell Bailey who retired after 11 years at Riverview. Co-workers and friends said goodbye November 29 in the Administration Building reception room. Previously in the Audio-visual department at Industrial Division, Joanell worked the last three years in the garage. 

--- 30 ---

 1992 Insight


Mary Volkaert (left) and Vicki Rayner are still smiling after a day of caring for 140 patients on bus outings.

Patient Escort Services Move Hundreds of People Every Day

        A bus driver and two escorts are heading out the door to take a ward of patients for an outing. Another driver is picking up a Lab Technician at Crease to take her to Valleyview. An escort and her driver are taking a patient from Unit 8 to X-Ray in North Lawn. The Dispatcher hangs up the phone and scrambles a team in response to a patient security call from East Lawn. A rare three-minute silence, and the phone rings again - a patient must be picked up at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster and returned to Riverview.

      And so the day goes at Patient Escort Services, on the bottom floor of the Henry Esson Young Building. Drivers, escorts, and vehicles are always coming and going, the phone rings consistently, and the demand is always running ahead of the supply of cars and staff. 

The department transports patients around the campus to medical appointments, therapy programs, and recreational activities. They deliver Lab Techs and other staff on various missions, and conduct the afternoon drug run to all the buildings.
      Drivers and escorts provide a patient security service, responding to Code Green and Code Blue calls. When a patient is reported missing, a car with two grounds-security escorts conducts a search of the campus and the surrounding communities within a five-mile radius of Riverview. 

Escorts work with patients who are often confused and anxious as they are taken from their wards into an automobile that delivers them to a strange place. Patients sometimes become physically ill, and occasionally aggressive. All escort staff are Health Care Workers II who are trained to apply their patient-care skills in the confined quarters of an automobile.

       The department has a total staff of 31 persons, including 12 drivers, 17 escorts, one dispatcher, and one supervisor, and 17 vehicles including buses, vans, and cars. Four of the drivers are qualified to drive the large buses. The supervisor alternates as dispatcher.

    The service is in operation seven days a week from 0800 to 2200 hours, and the logistics are overwhelming. An average day consists of more than 38 patient escort trips, 69 demands for drivers to deliver staff and materials, 20 off- grounds trips throughout the Lower Mainland, 29 patient security calls, four recreational trips, and 90 patients transported on bus excursions.

    Dispatcher Cathy Smith handles hundreds of calls a day and tracks driver and escort teams all over the map. Two way radios in all vehicles make it possible to keep abreast of what is happening and where.
     When you require Patient Escort Services, you can help them to schedule your trip by giving advance notice, 24 hours if possible. The number to call is 7123.

      Supervisor Florence Puller says, “One of the greatest rewards in this job is when a patient leaves the Hospital and you take him/her to their home in the community. After all, that is the result that everyone in the Hospital is working toward.”
When you see a drivers and escort vehicles going by, give them a wave; they are doing a difficult and most valuable job. They keep people moving at Riverview.

 --- 30 ---

      In 1997, Fred Duriaux, Arthur Weston, Wayne Wood, and Gilles St.Hilaire celebrated 25-years on the job.

--- 30 ---

1997  Insight

      Gilles St. Hilaire,(right), a 25-year veteran at Riverview in the Transport Department, proudly receives his long-servie award from Bill Douglas, left, Executive Director of Mental Health Services in Victoria. The man in the middle is Patrick Storey, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the B.C. Mental Health Society, which governs Riverview Hospital.

1998 Perfect attendance records from Transport Services employees:
eight years: Tony Standig; Craig Hodgson
seven years: Bill Malm; Len Thomson
six year: Rod Boulton
two year: Art Weston
one year: Ladislao Acosta; Dave Harcus; Luneza Leocadio; Dave Rusell; Ken Wong; Jack Dougan

--- 30 ---
   And finally in 2007 the blue bus was retired and some of the staff had a little celebration for it at Finnies Garden. All captured by this intrepid reporter.

Also at Flickr

Also at Flickr

Also at Flickr
       Unknown what became of this bus, it sat at the Transport garage for a year or two then disappeared.

THE END  ( so far )

Dr.Gee, middle of picture

Dr.Gee, middle of picture

BC Penitentiary cemetery at Woodlands

Links to an article in the Vancouver Sun, about the B.C.Penitentiary Cemetery at Woodlands in New Westminster. More Cemetery information, related to the mental hospitals, can be found at the Riverview Hospital Click-able MAP just click on the Cemetery area, found in the bottom right area of the map.
BC Pen graveyard article
Bloody escape left 3 dead
How Sook Sias found his way home

Dr.Gee,Medical Superintendent's report (ca.early 1950's)


of the


By: Doctor A. M. Gee, Essondale, B. C.

Click on Chapter headings:
Provincial Mental Hospital, New Westminster, B.C.
Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale, B.C.
Provincial Mental Hospital, Colquitz, B.C.
The Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine
Homes for the Aged
Child Guidance Clinics

It will be my endeavor in this article to present to you an over-all picture of the Mental Health Services of the Province of British Columbia, but before proceeding to this I wish to give you some idea of the magnitude of the problem presented by mental illness, something of the general nature of mental illness, and finally the means of dealing with the problem of mental illness..

In Canada, as in other countries, mental illness takes a very heavy toll. Mental illness is not just a matter of sanity or insanity but rather has many gradations ranging from minor emotional disturbances to complete and total disability. In British Columbia, as in the other provinces, the number of patients in the mental hospitals is equal to the number of patients in all other hospitals from all other causes. There is in Canada at the present time a total of 50,000 patients in the mental hospitals, while in B.C. we have at the present time over 5,000 patients being treated and cared for in our mental hospitals.

In 1947, 13,085 of our citizens were admitted to the mental hospitals of Canada, while in the same year, 1,111 of our own citizens were admitted to the mental hospitals of B. C. Let us not over-estimate this admission rate, however, serious though it may be, but rather direct our attention to the data concerning discharges from the mental hospitals. Of the 1,111 patients admitted to the Provincial Mental Hospital in 1947 we were able to discharge 935, while in 1948 of the 1,260 patients admitted 1,193 were discharged to return to the community. Over half of those discharged, in 1948 were hospitalized for a period of less than 4 months duration.

The cost of maintaining Canada's 43 mental hospitals is in excess of 26 million dollars annually. It is generally conceded that one person in 20, will, during his lifetime, be a patient for a period in a mental hospital, and in addition it is estimated that one person in every ten suffers from some type of serious emotional disturbance at some time in his life history. From these few figures it is possible for one to gain a general impression of the magnitude which the problem of mental illness presents.

On the brighter side of the picture, however, I am pleased to be able to draw your attention to real progress in the field of Psychiatry. In the past few years the mental hospitals have turned increasingly from the simple custodial care of their patients to a program of active treatment and prevention. While the mental hospital still remains the focus of mental health care, the centre of gravity is gradually shifting from the mental hospital to the community where there are, at present, rapidly developing systems for treatment and prevention.

Let us now direct our attention to the general nature of mental illness. Many of you have no doubt thought of mental illness as something strange and remote from your lives, something entirely different from physical discomfort or disease. "Health” may be defined as that condition of the body in which all of the functions are performed normally. "Mental Health" "may be defined as the adjustment of individuals to the world and to each other with a maximum of effectiveness and happiness. In a broad sense this is a very good definition of democracy and we might say that Democracy and national mental health go hand in hand.

Physical health manifests itself inside of your skin. Mental health manifests itself outside of your skin, in your thinking, your feeling, and particularly in your doing and interpersonal relationships. "Mental Health" be further defined as the ability to maintain an even temper, an alert intelligence, socially considerate behaviour, and a happy disposition. Mental or ill health exhibits itself in how you react in regard to life and death, joy and sorrow, blame and praise, love and hate, and fear. All mental illnesses demonstrate disorders in the sphere of the emotions. If a person is able to handle his emotions in relation to those who live about him and be happy, he is mentally healthy.

I would now like to present to you for your better understanding the true parallel that exists between physical and mental health; physical and mental illness. There are certainly as many degrees of mental fitness as there are degrees of physical fitness. Few of us claim to be physically 100% fit all of the time and few of us reach middle age without carrying some minor or major physical disability which to a degree interferes with our ability to function at our maximum capacity. Some of us suffer from minor disabilities which may incapacitate partially or wholly for a short period. Others again suffer from time to time from major disabilities from which we may or may not recover. Again, we have a group of physical diseases which require long periods of active treatment with partial recovery or arrest of the progress of the disease leaving a definite disability and a permanent limitation of function. Such a disease is tuberculosis.

In the realm of mental disease we have exactly the same situation. We all suffer at times from minor emotional discomforts or disabilities. Some of us suffer from more severe mental reactions which may incapacitate us for a time and which require hospital treatment but from which complete recovery is certain. Again, others will suffer from mental symptoms similar in severity to tuberculosis and for this a longer period of hospitalization and treatment will be required with a good outlook for arresting the progress of the disease.

In this mental illness, however, the patient will in all probability never again regain his efficiency 100% and like the arrested tubercular patient will need assistance in rehabilitation and in reorienting himself toward his life situation.

There are indeed as many disabling conditions in psychiatry as there are in general medicine and a true parallel exists between mental symptoms and physical symptoms, mental disease and physical disease. By following this close parallel we should be able to avoid the senseless, shameful notion that mental illness carries with it some social stigma. I would like to pursue this parallel just a little further in order that you may see how the various mental health services are grouped at the active treatment level.

Physical disorders of all types may be classified under the following headings:

1. Developmental defects - i.e.,congenital disabilities.
2. Organic illnesses - (including injuries).
3. Functional illnesses.
4. Infective or toxic illnesses.
5. Degenerative illnesses.
6. Public health - (preventive medicine).

Mental disorders of all types may be classified similarly as follows:

1. Developmental defects - i.e., mental deficiency and subnormality.
2. Organic mental illnesses - (including injuries).
3. Functional mental illnesses.
4. Toxic central illnesses.
5. Degenerative mental illnesses.
6. Mental hygiene - (preventive psychiatry).
In accordance with the categories set forth above our active mental hospital treatment service naturally breaks down into four main divisions.

1. Treatment and education of the subnormal.
2. The treatment of the acutely mentally ill - organic, functional, toxic psychoses (psychotic patients).
3. The treatment of those suffering from degenerative train conditions (senile, arteriosclerotic).
4. Preventive services.

Return to Index

Provincial Mental Hospital, New Westminster, B.C.

This unit of the Provincial Mental Health Services functions as a training school for the mentally defective and at the present time has a patient population of 653 with no vacant beds. The function of this unit is, of course, the training of the mentally subnormal with the objective being to develop the individual to his maximum capacity. At this hospital there is a modern, five room special school which is staffed by seven fully qualified teachers. As part of the school there is a well equipped gymnasium and auditorium as well as special classrooms designed for the teaching of domestic science and the manual arts. In the program of this school considerable emphasis is placed upon the socialization of the children, employing recreational and social activities in this part pf the training program.

At the present time there is a program or expansion underway at the Provincial Mental Hospital, New Westminster, B. C., consisting of four modern type buildings each of which will have a capacity of approximately 100. It is hoped that the provision of these new buildings will make it possible to relieve some of the over-crowding and also to admit some of the patients who are presently of necessity kept on the waiting list until a bed becomes vacant.

Out of the total population of 653 patients, 140 are participating in the academic training school program. The teaching staff endeavours to provide a special teaching program to meet the individual needs of the population rather than to follow definite grade levels. In addition to the academic program great stress is laid on the teaching of domestic science and manual arts. Cooking, food preparation and serving are, stressed along with sewing, mending, and needle work. In the boys’ division opportunities are provided for the teaching of manual arts and for the older boy there is ample opportunity for learning the various industrial skills and trades associated with the operation and maintenance of the hospital plants.

Return to Index

Provincial Mental Hospital, Essondale, B.C.

This hospital is the largest unit of the Mental Health Services of the Province. It functions as the administration centre and headquarters in both medical and business administration. At the present time it is the admitting centre for all branches and all in-patients are admitted there and are transferred to other units. The first building was opened to receive patients in 1913. The Essondale unit has increased in capacity and size until at the present time it houses in excess of 3,600 patients. Consideration is being given now to the development of an entirely new hospital site to provide the increased care that will be required in the near future. The Mental Hospital at Essondale is classified by the American Hospital Association as a class A hospital. It is in all respects a fully modem hospital with excellent facilities for clinical investigation, diagnosis and treatment of all mental end neurological conditions.

In addition to medical and surgical facilities it offers the advantage of all accepted forms of psychiatric therapy. The occupational therapy program is well advanced, while the pioneering of our recreational therapy program has brought much credit to the Province of British Columbia.

Treatment within the hospital breaks down into,

(1) early and active treatment of the acutely mentally ill with a view to early recovery and rehabilitation;
(2) continued treatment for a large group of patients who will require a prolonged treatment period.
The Social Service Department is actively engaged in working with both of these classes of patients. The Psychiatric Social Service staff numbers ten and a representative of the department visits in the home of all patients admitted from the local area. Representatives of the Welfare Field Service visit in all other areas of the Province. Histories are submitted covering all contacts and activities of the patient in an endeavour to provide a longitudinal section of the individual's life in order that the psychiatrist may have understanding into all of the situational factors bringing about the illness. The individual social service worker keeps in constant touch with the patient during the hospitalization, and acts as liaison between the hospital and the home. Rehabilitation plans are worked out between the psychiatrist and the social service worker end after discharge of the patient further assistance and supervision is provided for him during the initial six month post-discharge period. To further assist in the rehabilitation of women patients a small home unit is maintained in Vancouver where the recovered patient may live a normal, unrestricted home life until she is able to find employment and be self-supporting.

Return to Index

Provincial Mental Hospital, Colquitz, B.C.

A small continued treatment unit is located at Colquitz, Vancouver Island, housing some 287 male patients. There is no direct admission to this hospital, all patients in residence having been transferred from the hospital at Essondale. The Provincial Mental Home offers complete medical and psychiatric care along with a full program of occupational and recreational activities. Future plans call for the construction of a complete new mental hospital adjacent this site to serve the needs of Vancouver Island and adjacent islands.

Return to Index

The Crease Clinic of Psychological Medicine

This is a new fully modem building to house 325 patients. It is an-active treatment and teaching centre, bringing active treatment to the Patient suffering from the early symptoms of mental Illness in which recovery and rehabilitation may be anticipated within a four month period. The Clinic of Psychological Medicine is a distinct advance from the usual mental hospital type of treatment and is a step closer to the community and general hospital type of care. The clinic houses group specialties representing all branches of medicine, surgery and psychiatry, as follows:

1. Complete x-ray department covering all phases of radiology, including an x-ray surgical suite and special apparatus for cranial and brain studies.
2. Complete clinical laboratories equipped to carry out all types of clinical laboratory investigation, teaching and research.
3. A department of cardiology for the investigation of the heart and cardiovascular system together with instruments for the determination of basal metabolic rate.
4. A complete eye, ear, nose and throat department.
5. A complete neurological department with facilities for electroencephalography.
6. A department of physical medicine which includes all forms of physiotherapy and hydrotherapy and electrotherapy.
7. A modern surgical suite for both general surgery and neurosurgery.
8. A department of psychiatry covering all accepted forms of psychotherapy.
9. A department of occupational therapy with division for male and female patients and providing the necessary apparatus and instructors for a wide range of interesting crafts.
10. A department of recreational therapy staffed and equipped to provide recreational activities to suit the needs and interests of all age groups.
11. A library, housing standard and more popular current works of fiction, under the supervision of a fully qualified librarian.
12. Complete facilities for teaching and lecturing.
The Clinic operates under a separate act of the Provincial Legislature, separate and apart from the Mental Hospitals Act, This new act provides for the admission of voluntary patients who may themselves terminate their hospitalization at will. Otherwise it provides for the admission of patients on the certificates of two medical practitioners without any legal certification or loss of competency on the part of the patient. The maximum period of hospitalization during which the patient may be retained is four months. It is believed that this new intensive approach to the treatment of mental illness will bring psychiatry closer to other branches of medicine and, will do much to gain the confidence of the population in seeking early advice in such matters. It should do much to place mental illness on the same plane as physical illness and help to remove any stigma which uninformed people may have regarding sickness of the mind.

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Homes for the Aged

British Columbia was the first province to set up separate institutions for the psychiatric care of those aged individuals whose aging symptoms are predominately in the mental sphere. These buildings are of special design to meet the problems of caring for the aged. They are two storey, fireproof units with special ramps replacing all stairways. The grade of the ramp is such that it will permit comfortable walking as well as the use of a wheelchair or stretcher. Front entrances are ramped to spacious lawns for outdoor activities. All floor space including ramps is indirectly lighted by coved lighting at floor level. All ramps and corridors are provided with handrails. This type of building has received favorable comment from visitors from all points of the world.

The care of our aging population is rapidly becoming one of the major considerations at the present time. Chief reasons for the increased proportion of the aged in our population at this time are the great advance in medical and surgical care which have prevented death at an early age and increased the average life span. Two thousand years ago the average life span was approximately 25 years. In 1900 the average life span was 49 years, while in 1950 it is 66 ½ years. In 1900 one person in 25 was 65 years of age or older. It is estimated that by 1980 one person in 10 will be 65 years of age or over. Individuals now reaching superannuation age at 65 can look forward to an additional 12 ½ years of life. Unfortunately there is a considerable lag in the prevention and treatment of many of the degenerative diseases associated with the aging process, and particularly in this so in reference to those degenerative diseases producing mental illness in the aged. Much is needed in the way of research into this particular problem.

British Columbia has set up homes for the aged at Port Coquitlam where some 380 patients are housed and at Vernon, B. C. where some two years ago a new unit was opened to care for approximately 250 patients. In the near future it is expected that a third group of units will be opened in northern B. C. to serve the residents of that area.

The foregoing paragraphs have presented a survey of all the facilities for the "in care" of patients suffering from mental illness as operated by the Provincial Government. I would now like to direct your attention to the second aspect of psychiatry which is the preventive or mental health aspect.

Psychiatry was born put of jails, almshouses, and superstition and consequently has had to struggle to establish itself as a scientific practice. Even more difficult has been the establishment of sound principles of mental health. General public health measures can be applied to whole communities. Legislation may be enacted to insure a safe water supply and thereby eliminate many diseases. Living conditions may be improved. There are still, however, many people who dislike being told that they have to drink chlorinated water or that they may use only pasteurized milk, or that they must make provision against the day when they may need hospital care. In spite of these difficulties, by a process of public education it is still possible to deal with people in masses in matters of public health. Psychiatry and mental health, on the other hand, are largely matters of personal tutoring and individual education. In the not too distant past the psychiatric institution was separate and apart from the community. The psychiatrist was little more than the keeper of the keys and seldom emerged from his walled abode. Today we are trying to operate mental hospitals that are worthy of the name. We are now trying to move closer into the community and give service at the community level so that it will not be necessary to remove our patients from their community environment to an isolated mental hospital situation.

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Child Guidance Clinics

In the matter of prevention, it is therefore only natural that we should turn our attention to children and their parents. From the school system we are able to contact children in large groups. In 1934 we were able to set up our first Child Guidance Clinic unit. This unit consisted of a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a nurse, a psychiatric social worker and a stenographer. This basic pattern is still followed in the staffing of the clinics. The purpose of the Child Guidance Clinic is to help normal children who are presenting problems in behaviour, social adjustment, or education. Children may be referred to the clinic from the school or any social agency, the physician or the parents. There are at the present time four clinic units functioning in B.C., as follows:

One Stationary Clinic, Vancouver One Stationary Clinic, Vancouver - working with the Juvenile Court, Boys’ and Girls’ Industrial Schools and the Borstal School. One Traveling Unit, Vancouver One Stationary Unit, Victoria. In addition, the Metropolitan Health Board in Vancouver operates a Division of Mental Health with a similar type of unit functioning in the school. A second such unit is now being formed under the auspices of the City Health Services at Victoria.

To further radiate into the school system a pilot group of teachers is being trained to act as mental health coordinators. Already two such teachers have completed the one year of training at the University of Toronto, one being stationed in the Victoria schools and one in the Vancouver schools. At the present time two more teachers are undergoing a similar course of training.

The last link in the chain stretching from the mental hospital to the community is now being forged in the formation of the Canadian Mental Health Association with headquarters at Toronto. This mental health association is being developed under the guidance of Dr. Clarence M. Hincks, an outstanding Canadian psychiatrist who has devoted a lifetime to promoting improved standards in mental health care. It is planned to set up Provincial headquarters in each province and to have similar units formed in each community. In the future you will be hearing more of the plans of the Canadian Mental Health Association.

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