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NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release
2013HLTH0075-000806

April 12, 2013

Ministry of Health
Ministry of Children and Family Development

 

 

$18.4 million for mental health and substance use supports

 

VANCOUVER – The Province today announced funding totalling $18.4 million to support ongoing research and grassroots projects that will benefit individuals and families facing mental illness and substance use challenges.

 

“Mental health and substance use challenges affect one in five people as well as their families,” said Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid. “The funding announced today will support evidence-based strategies that promote mental health, prevent harmful use of substances and improve services and supports.”

 

The funding includes $1.4 million that will allow the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division to expand Strongest Families BC, a phone-based early intervention coaching service for families and children three to 12 years of age experiencing behavioural challenges. $900,000 of this funding was provided by the Ministry of Children and Family Development and $500,000 through a one-time grant from the Provincial Health Services Authority.

 

“Strongest Families is a step forward for B.C. as we build up the system of support for our young people struggling with mental health problems,” said Children and Family Development Minister Stephanie Cadieux. “It is the entire family that struggles as they try to sort out what’s going on, why it’s going on and how to help. Strongest Families is an invaluable service to provide resources and guidance for the parents – and much-needed peace of mind that they are taking the right steps to help their children.”

 

The remaining $17 million is being provided through one-time grants from the Provincial Health Services Authority, and includes:

·         The Community Action Initiative will receive $15 million to support their ongoing operations through the Canadian Mental Health Association - BC Division, which acts as the Community Action Initiative’s fiscal agent. The Community Action Initiative is a provincewide grant-making body that supports collaborative, community action that addresses substance use and promotes mental health.

·         The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research will receive $1 million to undertake mental health research projects.

·         The University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research of BC will also receive $1 million to support addictions and substance use research and information sharing.

 

The funding aligns with the provincial government’s 10-year mental health and substance use plan, Healthy Minds, Healthy People. This plan aims to address mental health and substance use for children and adults, with a focus on prevention, early intervention, treatment and sustainability.

 

“We believe it is critical to stay the course with the 10-year mental health and substance use plan that has been recently strengthened by the addition of A Path Forward: BC First Nations and Aboriginal People’s Mental Wellness and Substance Use Ten-Year Plan,” said Bev Gutray, co-chair for the Community Action Initiative and chief executive officer for the Canadian Mental Health Association. “These plans provide a strong focus on early intervention and mental health promotion. We must focus our efforts on the one in seven children who experience a mental illness, as we know that fewer than 25 per cent of these children will receive the help they need. For all us, government, labour, business and the charitable sector, it is important to remember that mental health starts in our homes, schools, and communities and we all have a role to play in making a difference each and every day.”

 

Established in 2008, the Community Action Initiative is governed by a Leadership Council that includes community-based mental health and substance use organizations, professional associations, aboriginal organizations, labour, business and provincial ministries.

 

The new one-time grant of $15 million will support the ongoing activities of the Community Action Initiative, which includes the provision of local grants that encourages cross-sector collaboration and innovation at the community level and capacity building opportunities for mental health and substance use service providers. To date, 154 grants totalling $6.7 million and serving 61 communities in British Columbia have been provided through the Community Action Initiative.

 

“The Community Action Initiative breaks new ground by bringing together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal stakeholders,” said Paul Lacerte, co-chair of the Community Action Initiative and executive director of the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres. “Aboriginal people stand to benefit from this investment through sustainable, culturally relevant projects.”

 

The funding of $1 million to the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research will be used to establish partnerships and support for research projects that evaluate health outcomes and inform the province’s 10-year mental health and substance use plan.

 

I am really excited by the opportunity this funding provides to link researchers at B.C.’s academic institutions to the work being done in our communities and health authorities through programs like the Community Action Initiative,” said Diane Finegood, president and CEO of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. “It’s an example of how organizations can work together to address complex mental health and substance use challenges.”

 

The funding of $1 million to the University of Victoria’s Centre for Addictions Research of BC will fund academic engagement, research that increases understanding of substance use, addictions and related harms, and information sharing among researchers and care providers.

 

“Substance use affects all of us,” said Tim Stockwell, director of the Centre for Addictions Research of BC. “We are committed to helping our society better understand, manage and navigate a world where different people have different relationships with alcohol and other drugs.”

 

Learn more:

For more information on B.C.’s 10-year mental health and substance use plan: www.health.gov.bc.ca/healthy-minds

 

For more information about Child and Youth Mental Health services in B.C.: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/mental_health/

 

For more information on the 10-year mental wellness and substance use plan for BC First

Nations and Aboriginal People’s: www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2013/First_Nations_Aboriginal_MWSU_plan_final.pdf

 

For more information about the Community Action Initiative: www.communityactioninitiative.ca

 

For more information about the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research: www.msfhr.org/

 

For more information about Strongest Families B.C.: www.strongestfamiliesbc.ca

 

For more information about the UVic Centre for Addictions Research of BC: www.carbc.ca/

 

 

Media contacts:

 

Ryan Jabs

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887 (media line)

 

Sheldon Johnson

Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-1639

 

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

 

 


 

BACKGROUNDER

 

 

Community Action Initiative

The Community Action Initiative was established in 2008 through a $10-million grant from the Province of British Columbia. The grant was provided to the BC Mental Health Foundation who, through the Alliance for Mental Health/Illness and Addictions, established the Community Action Initiative. The Community Action Initiative is now fiscally managed through the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division.

 

The Community Action Initiative supports collaborative community action that addresses substance use and promotes mental health for British Columbians. The Community Action Initiative is a complement to government’s Healthy Minds, Healthy People: A Ten-Year Plan to Address Mental Health and Substance Use in British Columbia and to the BC First Nations & Aboriginal People’s Mental Wellness and Substance Use Ten-year Plan.

 

The initiative is governed by a Leadership Council made up of representatives from across various fields, including government, non-profit, labour, business and Aboriginal groups:

 

·         Addictions Specialists and Allied Professionals of BC

·         BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres

·         BC Association of Clinical Counsellors

·         BC Association of Social Workers

·         BC Federation of Labour

·         BC Federation of Community Social Services

·         BC government (Ministry of Health, Ministry of Children & Family Development)

·         BC Schizophrenia Society

·         BC School Counsellors Association

·         Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division

·         Canadian Mental Health Association – Kelowna Branch

·         Families Organized for Recognition and Care Equality (F.O.R.C.E.) Society for Kids’ Mental Health

·         First Nations Health Authority

·         From Grief to Action

·         Herold Engineering Ltd.

·         Métis Nation British Columbia

 

The Initiative funds strategies through three specific funding streams:

·         Convening - grants of up to $10,000 to establish partnerships, to plan collaboratively and prepare grant applications before they apply for stage two (service innovation) funding for their projects.

·         Service innovation - grants of up to $200,000 to support implementation of proposed service innovation projects.

·         Training - to enhance the ability of community organizations to share knowledge and deliver mental health and substance use supports and services in more effective and innovative ways.

 

To date, 154 grants totalling $6.7 million and serving 61 communities in British Columbia have been provided through the Community Action Initiative. A detailed list of funded grants can be found here: www.communityactioninitiative.ca/about-the-cai/funded-projects/

 

The Community Action Initiative is committed to evaluating its programs to ensure that its monies are invested wisely and contributing towards better health outcomes for British Columbians. Evaluation reports can be found here: www.communityactioninitiative.ca/about-the-cai/what-we-do/measuring-success/

 

Strongest Families BC

Since it began as a pilot program in October 2011, 330 B.C. families have received support through Strongest Families BC.

 

No matter where they live in the province, families can get help. Anyone with a child between the ages of three and 12 experiencing behavioural challenges can get a referral to the program from their family doctor. The service is free and a mental health disorder diagnosis is not required.

 

Trained coaches work with parents and children over the phone over the course of 12 to 14 weeks. They help them identify and work through their issues and apply the new skills they learn to reduce negative effects at home and at school and prevent the problems from getting worse. Families also receive handbooks and skill-demonstration videos, and work through step-by-step modules at home.

 

Convenience is one of the program’s greatest strengths. Coaches work with families at times that work for them – days, evenings and weekends. Families don’t have to travel to appointments, parents don’t have to miss work and children don’t have to miss school.

 

In addition to the phone service, the Ministry of Health and the BC Medical Association have held training sessions for family physicians to improve their ability to detect and assess childhood mental health conditions and link children to appropriate help.

 

The additional $1.4 million funding for Strongest Families includes $900,000 from the Ministry of Children and Family Development and $500,000 through a one-time grant from the Provincial Health Services Authority to fund the service until March 2015.

 

 

Media contacts:

 

Ryan Jabs

Media Relations Manager

Ministry of Health

250 952-1887 (media line)

 

Sheldon Johnson

Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Children and Family Development
250 356-1639

 

 

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect