New mental health and addictions supports are coming to Coast Mountains School District 82, but likely won’t be in place for at least a year.
The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions is establishing an integrated child and youth team in the district, which it said will fill gaps in the current system of care.
“For too long, young people and their families have had to knock on one door after another to access the mental health and substance use services they need,” said Judy Darcy, minister of mental health and addictions in a media release.
“These integrated child and youth teams will ensure help is available when and where it’s needed, so that children and youth are able to not just survive — but thrive.”
The team will provide services for children in Terrace, Kitimat, Kitwanga, Stewart and the Hazeltons. It will be made up of a variety of experts like elders and Indigenous support workers, school counsellors, mental health clinicians and youth substance use workers. The team works in an interconnected way so that children and youth are able to receive support from any member, and children can receive resources tailored to their specific situation.
The ministry also announced teams in the Richmond and Okanagan—Similkameen school districts. That puts the total number of integrated child and youth teams in the province at five.
Teams were announced for Maple Ridge—Pitt Meadows and the Comox Valley last year, but those have yet to be established. The ministry said that the Coast Mountains team likely will not be active for a year, or possibly longer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.