NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson speaks with the media about her private members bill regarding abandoned vessels, in Ottawa on Thursday, November 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson speaks with the media about her private members bill regarding abandoned vessels, in Ottawa on Thursday, November 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

B.C. to add mental health, substance use support for youth to 15 communities

Roughly $56 million, as part of the 2021 provincial budget, will be used to launch the teams

The province is adding more mental health and substance use services, backed by 350 new workers, to communities across B.C. to remove roadblocks for youth and their families when accessing help.

”To get help, many families and youth have had to knock on one door after another, after another, losing critical time when help is urgently needed,” Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson said during a news conference Monday (April 26). Malcolmson was joined by Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside and Family Minister Mitzi Dean.

Roughly $56 million, as part of the 2021 provincial budget, will be used to add integrated child and youth teams in 15 rural communities in the province, backed by peer support workers, clinicians and Indigenous liaisons. There are currently on five of these teams in the province.

ALSO READ: B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

The teams are a key component to the province’s mental health strategy in schools, Whiteside said.

Integrated child and youth teams include peer support workers, Indigenous support workers, education counsellors, and mental health and substance use clinicians. Teams will co-ordinate services and provide seamless care for children, youth and families in the community, where it is safe and comfortable for the young person, the province said.

A further $16 million will be used to focus on early years mental health supports, which will include hiring 60 full-time family support workers over three years.


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ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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