The provincial government announced funding this week to expand training for mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions.
A series of press releases Monday from B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training noted that the four institutions –Vancouver Island University, Camosun College, Selkirk College and the Nicola Valley Institue of Technology – are sharing $800,000 to train community mental health workers, a “critical” need during the pandemic.
The funding will cover 47 “seats” for the program at NVIT’s Burnaby campus, 20 at Camosun in Victoria, 16 at VIU in Nanaimo and 12 at Selkirk in the Kootenays.
Community mental health workers promote mental and physical health, provide support at shelters and counsel individuals who struggle with mental health and addiction issues, the release noted.
Anne Kang, minister of advanced education and skills training, said in the release that the funding “will support training for highly valued and respected positions working with some of B.C.’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Sheila Malcolmson, minister of mental health and addictions, said adding more learning and training spots will make a lasting impact in supporting people living with mental health and substance use challenges.
“It is institutions like [these], their staff and students that are the foundation for building the comprehensive mental health and substance use system of care people need and deserve,” Malcolmson said.
Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West, addded that the training helps with healthier, safer communities.
“I’m proud of our health-care workers, who are working to save lives, and happy to see more local training to ensure that everyone gets the care they need,” she said.
The release notes that the funding outlined is part of B.C.’s previously announced COVID-19 response plan.
For more information about the VIU program, click here.
Province announces funding for VIU to train mental health workers. Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports…