Bringing Children’s Mental Health out of the Shadows

Author: Karen Copeland

Many of you are aware of my ongoing support for the development of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Stabilization Unit (CAPSU) to be created at Surrey Memorial Hospital. When I first learned of this initiative, I was incredibly encouraged. I remain so. Fraser Health has recognized a need for this service to be available to children and youth in the Fraser Region, and instead of sitting on their hands, they immediately went to work to create an action plan to make this unit a reality.

SHOCFdnThe Surrey Hospital and Outpatient Centre Foundation has been working hard behind the scenes fundraising to provide dollars that will be used to create a welcoming, supportive environment for children, youth and families who require access to critical emergency psychiatric care. On Monday, the Foundation announced an unprecedented donation from Cloverdale Paint in the amount of one million dollars towards the development of the CAPSU space, and an additional $300,000 donation from Coast Capital Savings.

Cloverdale Paint and Coast Capital Savings have shown tremendous leadership with their generous support of this resource. They have stepped up and boldly shown that the mental health and wellness of children and youth in our communities matters to them.

For too long, we have considered child and youth mental health a “government” issue, when in reality it is a COMMUNITY issue. No longer can we be complacent, we need to understand the complexities of the challenges children, youth and families are experiencing in our communities. We need to come together as communities and share ideas of how we can make a difference.

I had the opportunity to speak with Simi Sara on CKNW radio on October 6, about the announcement of the target date for opening for CAPSU. You can listen to the interview here:


To close this post, I have a message for Cloverdale Paint, Coast Capital Savings and all the other donors who have contributed to the development of CAPSU.

You have my immense gratitude and support. You are demonstrating your leadership by bringing child and youth mental health out of the shadows and saying it is worthy of community support. I would be honoured to sit down with any or all of you and share with you why this matters so much, not only to my own family, but to the many other families, professionals and community members out there who continue to fight hard to raise awareness and recognition of this important issue.

Today, on World Mental Health Day, I celebrate your leadership and commitment to making a difference for children, youth and families.


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