The emergence of a “Hard to Reach” population has propelled the development of a new model for health service delivery in Victoria. The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) has recently announced plans to enhance health services around two service “hubs” and create an aggressive outreach team to reach out to this group of people. According to a recent VIHA press release:
“Approximately 100 individuals in Victoria are considered the hardest to reach due to their mental health and/or addictions challenges and living arrangements. These individuals’ needs are extremely complex and as a result, they have challenges accessing the services and supports they require.”
Are challenges accessing services a result of individual’s complex mental health and/or addictions issues or is it a result of institutions and practices that actively marginalize people from accessing the services and supports they require? We think the latter.
Over the next year, the Radical Health Alliance will be publicizing the institutions complicit in creating the ‘hard to reach.’ Through widespread, accessible publications and actions, we aim to create new narratives about health access, marginalization and participation.
Our first project is to expose how Good Neighbor Agreements contribute to marginalization and creation of the “Hard to Reach.” Stay tuned for project info and opportunities to get involved.