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

Drivesmart column: Driving with obstructed vision

Fully 80 per cent of the information that we need to drive safely comes through our eyes.

Marked improvement for women’s rugby squad

Gudmundseth scores four as Cowichan edged by Westshore

Robert Barron column: Cell phone rules in cars are clear as mud

She was not actively using her cell at the time

Andrea Rondeau column: Flood of letters to the editor

Some newspapers struggle to get people to send in letters to the editor.

Sarah Simpson Column: The terrible truth of tail lights and tree planting

I’m not typically one to spout out unsolicited advice but I’m going… Continue reading

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

‘Wham-bam out the door’: Surrey man’s front yard left ruined by scamming landscaper

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

Most Read