The BC government has expanded mental health and substance-use services for young people as part of their BC Budget 2021.

After announcing the largest mental health investment last week, the province detailed their investment of $56 million in new support for youth in fifteen communities in BC.

350 new full-time workers will help support BC’s younger generation and their families, as well as provide them with access to services early on.

The province announced a model of care geared towards integrated child and youth teams in schools, meant to link young people to other services in the community — such as early years services, primary care, and specialized programs.

“So families don’t lose critical time when mental health and addictions treatment help is urgently needed, we’re adding new teams so young people receive seamless service at school, at home and for life,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

This model of care is intended to reduce wait times, improve health outcomes, and increase engagement at school.

The government is working with Indigenous partners and community agencies to build this system of care.

This investment is part of the overall $97 million announced in Budget 2021 for child and youth mental health and substance-use support to further advance the BC government’s plan, A Pathway to Hope.

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