Jane Garland is a psychiatrist for children and adolescents at BC Children’s Hospital. Her impressive career includes decades engaged in research and consultation on treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. In 1994, Jane saw a need for specialized consultation and services for children and youth experiencing mood and anxiety disorders, as no such programs existed.
Jane set out to build a dedicated clinic from the ground up: the BC Children’s Hospital’s Mood and Anxiety Disorders Clinic. It is estimated that 140,000 BC children and youth experience mental health challenges, and yet less than 25% of these children will receive treatment. Since 2001 alone, the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Clinic has seen over 8,000 patients, 2,400 who have been seen by Jane herself.
At the Clinic, Jane ensures that staff are encouraged to research, expand, and communicate the areas of their work which most interest and excite them; she firmly believes that their patients benefit from the new and unique perspectives that arise from this freedom. She empowers her staff and colleagues to pursue their passions, and channel them into change for others.
Above and beyond her work with the Clinic, Jane has also made strides improving access to care: she has worked to build capacity in communities across the province by spreading evidence-based treatment and training. The Clinic has also embraced Telehealth as an excellent way to provide service to rural and remote areas—in fact, just in the past three years, 45.3% of children seen in the Clinic have been from outside the Vancouver Coastal Health region.
Jane has also spread her knowledge at a grassroots level, speaking at venues to reach communities across BC, collaborated with the Vancouver School Board to develop best practices for working with children with mood and anxiety disorders and developmental disabilities, and worked with single mothers living below the poverty line in Vancouver’s inner-city neighbourhoods.
She also masterminded a cognitive behavioural therapy intervention for anxious children called “Taming the Worry Dragons,” which taps into their imaginations to inspire them to be “Brave Knights” and “fight back against their worries.” She was also instrumental in the formation of Anxiety BC, a provincial non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness about anxiety disorders, promoting education, and increasing access to resources and treatments.
As a colleague puts it, Jane is a “supreme example of a well-rounded carer.”
Through her leadership in building capacity and access, improving research and methods, and trailblazing a holistic approach, has immeasurably improved the services and resources available for children and adolescents with mood and anxiety disorders in British Columbia and beyond.