Students across BC will soon benefit from a $3 million school-based mental health program that focuses on prevention, wellness promotion, and early intervention, according to the Ministry of Education.

The funding will be dispersed to every school district in the province and will pay for staff training sessions, parent information nights, the development of new resource materials for educators and families, and create student workshops.

“With access to new mental health programs in schools, students will get the help they need when they need it,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education in a release. “This is essential as we all work together to strengthen mental health and addictions care in British Columbia.”

On top of the funding, the Ministry of Children and Family Development and Anxiety Canada are creating new prevention workshops and classroom resources for BC educators. The new program, EASE (Everyday Anxiety Strategies for Educators), will run free workshops for educators and school counsellors from now until May.

EASE will focus on anxiety prevention strategies in the everyday classroom for grades K-7.

“Today’s students face social and emotional challenges that are becoming more and more complex all the time,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions in a release.

“When we address these issues early, students will be able to not just survive, but thrive – and they will benefit for years to come.”

These new mental health supports are part of the province’s goal of creating a coordinated mental health and addictions system for BC. The Ministry of Education say the government’s complete mental health and addictions strategy will be announced later this year.