Specialty Psychiatry

Subspecialty General

Role and Facility Information

Vancouver Coastal Health is seeking mental health medical expertise at two sites; each one day per week (.4 full-time equivalent), that provides mental health care for a low-to-medium risk community-dwelling population involved in the criminal justice system. The two roles could be fulfilled by one or two physicians.

Downtown Community Court

Downtown Community Court comprises programs which combine elements of the criminal justice and probation system, income assistance, health, mental health, substance use, and social services.

Case Management Team

VCH staff are members of the Case Management Teams (CMT) which supports clients on probation who suffer from substance use and mental disorders. The two CMT teams include a clinical lead, nurses, occupational therapist, social worker, addictions housing coordinator, and probation officers. Each team follows approximately 50 clients and have access to support from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, BC Housing, and Indigenous liaison worker, and a police officer. The psychiatrist provides outpatient consultative, short term and longitudinal services until the expiry of probation order or a maximum of 2 years.

Client Profile

• Wide range of clients that come into contact with the criminal justice system who reside predominantly in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

• Clients come to the justice system as a result of their circumstances and typically have traumatic histories, persistent mental disorder and ongoing substance use.

• Referrals come from the court and are screened by a VCH social worker while the clients are in holding cells.

• Clients may have psychiatric conditions including psychosis, mood and anxiety disorders, personality and substance use disorders.

• Some clients will require long term psychiatric care; others will require only consultation assessment, and some will already be connected to mental health teams.

• Clients with a sex offence charge or history or a current domestic violence offence are excluded.

Vancouver Integrated Supervision Unit (VISU)

VISU is an integrated probation office located in the Downtown Eastside that supports clients who are on probation, suffer from substance use and mental health issues, and who require significant outreach support and daily engagement. The program offers daily drop-in sessions for clients.


VISU comprises two teams each with a clinical lead, nurses, an occupational therapist, social worker, mental health and addiction support worker, and probation officers. Each team has a capacity of 25, and a significant number of clients require psychiatric support. The psychiatrist provides outpatient consultative, short term and longitudinal services during client drop-in times as well as on outreach with team members in the community.

Client Profile

• Referrals come from the community court, jail, hospital or other probation offices.

• Clients are typically referred to VISU when unable to meet the strict requirements of a regular probation office or are not engaging with their mental health teams.

• Clients often have undiagnosed or untreated mental health issues.

• Clients with a sex offence charge or history or a current domestic violence offence are excluded.

• Some clients will require long term psychiatric care, others will require only consultations/assessments, and some are already connected to a MH team.

Clinical skills

Psychiatrists working in a Downtown Eastside setting will approach care by:

• Placing the patient at the centre

• Utilizing a team based approach, providing consultations as required and longer-term longitudinal psychiatric care when necessary

• Providing culturally safe and responsive care for Indigenous patients

• Practicing trauma- informed care

• Having a recovery-oriented approach

• Employing the principles of community-based psychiatric care

• Collaborating in the management of concurrent substance use disorders

Further information and expectations

Reporting to the Medical Director, Vancouver Community Mental Health Services, the local Medical Manager, and through them to the Senior Medical Director, the successful candidate will provide expertise and consults, respond to case managers, and should have a strong knowledge base in psychopharmacology and behavioral interventions. Additionally, he/she will facilitate continuity of care between hospital and community and liaise with hospital mental physicians and staff. All VCH physicians must be appointed as medical staff of Vancouver Coastal Health; on-call participation is optional. A clinical faculty appointment with the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine is highly encouraged as resident supervision and involvement in education initiatives is an expectation.



Compensation Type
Estimated Remuneration
To be discussed at interview

Live and work in BC


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