Welcome to Island Health

On August 1 st, we launched our new public website:


and a new website for medical staff:


Our website was developed in partnership with patients and residents of Vancouver Island and the surrounding regions. It's accessible, mobile friendly and flexible to help us evolve with our communities as we work towards excellent health and care for everyone, everywhere, every time.

Come visit the new sites and update your bookmarks. This www.viha.ca site will continue to be available for one month so that our staff and partners have time to update their links to the new site. You can still browse the old site but it will no longer be updated.


August 28: Health-related needs after release from prison

August 8, 2017
On August 28, the Centre for Addictions Research of BC and Island Health present a symposium and panel discussion on improving mental health care and outcomes for people recently released from prison.



People who cycle through prisons often face complex, co-occurring health problems including mental disorder, substance dependence, disability, and communicable and non-communicable disease. Resources to support transitional and post-release care are typically scarce and often focus on preventing recidivism rather than on health. Recent research in Australia and North America shows high rates of both primary and tertiary healthcare use after release from prison, often related to worsening mental health and/or relapse to risky substance use. However, trajectories of mental disorder and related health problems after release from prison remain poorly understood, which makes it difficult to develop targeted, evidence-based preventive responses.

About the Presentation:

Drawing on findings from The Health After Release from Prison (HARP) cohort study—the world’s largest and most comprehensive cohort study of adults released from prison—this symposium will present new evidence on the mental health-related needs of people released from prison. It will focus on the ways in which substance use, mental illness, self-harm, and comorbidity shape health and health service outcomes for this marginalised group. Recommendations for improving the methodological rigour of studies designed to inform future interventions will be discussed.

About the Presenters:

  • Professor Stuart Kinner, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Adolescent Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • Dr Rohan Borschmann, NHMRC Early Career Fellow & Psychologist, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • Mr Jesse Young, Research Fellow, Centre for Mental Health, School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne
  • Mr Craig Cumming, Research Fellow, Centre of Health Service Research, School of Population and Global Health, The University of Western Australia