(BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau/Twitter)

The BC Green Party announced on Monday that they would spend $1 billion on mental health services under MSP if elected this fall.

Funding would be spent over a four-year cycle for a variety of initiatives, including:

  • Establishing accessible mental health treatment options for all those struggling with anxiety or depression.
  • Early intervention, youth mental health initiatives, integrated primary care specific to youth and mental health enabling families to easily navigate resources in a supportive environment.
  • Community based options for responding to those with mental health issues and their families such as Clubhouse International.
  • Enhanced counselling outreach services to work with the homeless community.

In addition, the party says they would allocate funding towards building new tertiary care facilities and providing detoxification beds, developing and implementing a Loneliness Strategy, and conducting a public information campaign to raise awareness on available resources.

During a campaign stop in Gordon Head to announce the mental health pledge, Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau held up the United Kingdom’s practice of prescribing social and community activities as an example of what the “Loneliness Strategy” would entail.

“Mental health issues are affecting increasing numbers of British Columbians and we need to treat it like any other health issue by properly resourcing it in our public system,” Furstenau said in a statement.

She added that the party would also be open to exploring a four day work week, an idea that was promoted by her Green Party leadership campaign as a tool for aiding mental health.