Judy Darcy, B.C. minister for mental health and addictions (Black Press Media)

B.C. school district teams to focus mental health treatment

Fragmented system a barrier to youth, Judy Darcy says

Five integrated teams are being set up in B.C. school districts to give students easier access to mental health supports.

The teams are to link health care and school resources to young people and family members, so they can get treatment “without having to tell their story over and over,” Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy said Monday. The school district program is to be developed over the next two years, and the Maple Ridge pilot is to be in operation by December.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district will be the first pilot of the project, to deal with a sharp rise in identified mental health and addiction issues among children.

The province estimates there are currently 84,000 children aged four to 17 experiencing mental health disorders, and B.C. has seen an 86 per cent increase in hospitalizations of people under 25 for mental disorders between 2009 and 2017.

RELATED: B.C. expanding youth mental health services

RELATED: ‘Pathway to Hope’ for B.C. youth mental health

School districts are also beginning to teach mental health literacy in secondary schools, to help young people recognize issues before they become critical. The district teams will be involved in education as well as case work, and school districts have budgeted for extra training for teachers and counsellors.

“We know that resolving small issues before they become big ones helps to avoid needless suffering, and also costlier solutions down the road, Darcy said. “We also know that addressing trauma early on can make a life-long difference.”

The province is also expanding its Foundry youth centre network, which Darcy said is a “one-stop shop” for youth health resources. New Foundry centres are being established in Terrace, Richmond and Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, in addition to existing facilities in Kelowna, Campbell River, Prince George, Abbotsford, Penticton, Victoria and Vancouver.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ladysmith Little Theatre now showing The Dining Room

Opening night is Thursday, September 19 and the final performance is Sunday, October 6

Long-awaited Crofton road improvements finally happening

Paved shoulders on both sides will be a welcome addition

New ratepayers association forming in Area H

Organization will advocate for North Oyster, Yellowpoint and Diamond District residents

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

B.C. bus crash survivor petitions feds to fix road where classmates died

UVic student’s petition well over halfway to 5k signature goal

NDP, Liberals promise more spending, while Tories promise spending cuts

Making life more affordable for Canadians a focus in the 2019 election

UPDATE: Police probe third threat against a Kamloops high school in eight days

Police have not released any further details into what the threat includes

Most Read