B.C. youth and young adult mental health

Aug 10, 2023 | In The News

August 3, 2023

Dear partner in child, youth and young adult mental health and substance use care,
As the Assistant Deputy Minister of Child, Youth and Mental Health Policy at the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, I’m happy to provide an update on the work underway related to child and youth mental health and substance use system improvements. Here are some of the actions led by the ministry:

Youth substance use bed-based services
The province recently announced 24 new youth substance-use treatment beds – 18 at the Phoenix Society in Surrey and six at Covenant House in Vancouver.
In addition, there is a new youth substance use beds webpage to help the public better understand what services are available and how to access them. Ministry staff are working closely with referring professionals to share lists and maps of the youth bed- based services to ensure they have the necessary information to support timely referrals to these services. In addition, a new article has been published on Wellbeing.gov.bc.ca about live-in treatment for youth.
These resources will be updated as more bed-based services are opened in the future. If you have any questions, please contact Patrick Lee, Senior Policy Analyst, (Patrick.Lee@gov.bc.ca) for Northern, Island, Provincial Health Services Authority and First Nations Health Authority, or Courtney Sabey, Senior Policy Analyst, (Courtney.Sabey@gov.bc.ca) for Fraser, Interior, and Vancouver Coastal regions.

Integrated Child and Youth (ICY) Teams
In spring 2023, the ministry’s Provincial Support Office (PSO) staff visited the seven new ICY Teams communities that were announced in February. It was an opportunity to familiarize themselves with local areas and to meet the people who will make ICY Teams a reality on the ground. PSO staff connected with employers of ICY team members, other community service providers, First Nations, Métis, Inuit and urban Indigenous peoples and organizations. The visits helped improve our understanding of First Nations’ territories, local conditions, and other important factors that support the successful implementation of ICY teams in each community.

Work is underway to prepare for an additional eight school district communities to be chosen in 2024, for a total of 20 communities announced, implementing or operational by 2025.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss ICY Teams further, please reply to me directly or contact the Provincial Support Office at mmha.provincialsupportoffice@gov.bc.ca.
Visit the ICY teams web page at gov.bc.ca/icyteams for more detailed information.

In February 2023, BC announced funding for 12 new Foundry centres as part of Budget 2023, bringing the total number of Foundry centres in BC to 35 once fully operational. On July 20, 2023, the Province announced the two first of these new Foundry centres will be coming to Vernon and Powell River. The remaining 10 locations will be determined through a community application process. Please check the Foundry Expansion page for information about this process.
As a reminder, Foundry BC offers young people (ages 12-24) welcoming, wraparound health and wellness services, including mental health and addiction support, counselling, physical and sexual healthcare, and youth and family peer support services. In addition to the new centres announced in Vernon and Powell River, 16 Foundry centres are currently operating across the province and seven centres are in development. Foundry’s virtual services can also be accessed from anywhere in the province through the Foundry BC app, by phone or foundrybc.ca/virtual.
Learn more about Foundry services at foundrybc.ca
I invite you to share this information within your organization and with your networks. We will keep you updated on progress as new announcements and developments happen. We are looking forward to continued collaboration with you to support the mental health and wellness of young people in British Columbia, and we appreciate your dedication and support.

Francesca Wheler
Assistant Deputy Minister
Child, Youth and Mental Health Policy

Pc:   Patrick Lee, Senior Policy Analyst, (Patrick.Lee@gov.bc.ca) for Northern, Island, Provincial Health Services Authority and First Nations Health Authority Courtney Sabey, Senior Policy Analyst, (Courtney.Sabey@gov.bc.ca) for Fraser, Interior, and Vancouver Coastal regions

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