Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux

B.C. unveils three-year mental health plan

Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux says rise of young people with mental illness 'a troubling phenomenon'

The B.C. government has committed $140 million in its pre-election budget to increase mental health services for young people, to deal with an increase in cases.

The three-year budget is to hire 120 mental health practitioners to work with young people, create “up to 28” specialized substance-use care beds for young people and provide an online counselling service for “youth who are struggling with mild to moderate mental health or substance abuse challenges,” according to a statement from the health and children and family development ministries.

The plan also promises to expand the youth mental health service centre called the Foundry, announced for Kelowna in December by Premier Christy Clark, to other communities.

Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux said the increase of children and youth with mental health issues is “a troubling phenomenon,” and she doesn’t know if the caseload will continue to rise.

“We’re currently averaging service to about 27,000 kids per year,” Cadieux said. “This investment will add another 7,000.”

The plan includes using up to 10 per cent of the $100 million interim staffing settlement with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation to deal with mental health issues in schools, hiring educational psychologists, school counsellors and other staff.

Education Minister Mike Bernier said Monday negotiations are continuing with the BCTF to satisfy the recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada to restore class size and special needs support levels removed from their contract in 2001.

Three facilities are to open this year, Ashnola at the Crossing in Keremeos, a 10-bed child and adolescent psychiatric stabilization unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital and a 10-bed in-patient unit at the HOpe Centre in North Vancouver.

Cadieux said there is no simple wait time for mental health patients, but service has improved since the intake system has been improved at the 90 miniistry offices.

“When they come to an MCFD office for service, they can be seen in hours, instead of what used to take weeks or even months, and then they know right away whether or not they are eligible for services,” Cadieux said.

 

 

Just Posted

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

O’Reilly trial scheduled to start January 15 for Anahim Lake murders

O’Reilly is charged with first-degree murder

School District 49 to re-open Nusatsum Elementary in September 2018

SD49 says increasing enrollment is driving its decision to re-open the school

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

B.C. hockey player nominated for Hobey Baker Award

Myles Powell is a forward at Rochester Institute of Technology

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Newly freed Diab wants reforms to Canada’s ‘lousy’ extradition law

French authorities dropped terrorism charges against Hassan Diab who was suspected of taking part in an attack in Paris in 1980

Russia probes come up against claims of executive privilege

The argument was laid bare this week during Steve Bannon’s interview with the House Intelligence Committee.

Most Read