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For Immediate Release


May 1, 2006

Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance




VICTORIA – Government is investing $750,000 to reach more individuals with mental illness and connect them with income, housing and medical services that will make a real difference in their lives, Employment and Income Assistance Minister Claude Richmond announced today.


“We know that many people with mental health issues find it very difficult to access all the services they are eligible for on their own,” said Richmond. “Working together with trained community agency staff, we will be able to help these individuals access the income, health and housing supports available to them.”


This project is being led by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), which is currently working with local CMHA branch offices to identify the communities that will benefit. Outreach work will begin this September.


Today’s announcement marks the beginning of Mental Health Week, a national, annual campaign dedicated to increasing understanding of mental health issues. It also follows past successful outreach projects between the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance and other partners in areas including: Kamloops, Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and the Tri-Cities.


In addition to connecting homeless individuals or those at risk of being homeless with the Ministry of Employment and Income Assistance, CMHA staff will liaise with ministry staff to ensure current clients with mental health issues have the appropriate supports.


“We are very excited to be working with communities and the ministry in these outreach activities,” said CMHA BC Division executive director Bev Gutray. “Helping individuals with mental illness who are the most marginalized access stable housing, medical supports and begin the process of community participation is critical work.”


The government’s partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association is part of its ongoing commitment to the work of the Premier’s Task Force on Homelessness, Mental Illness and Addictions – a task force comprised of municipal and provincial leaders that provides a multi-level government approach to developing long-term solutions to complex social issues.





Richard Chambers

Communications Director

250 387-6489


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