Mental health and substance use counselling to help youth at risk

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Youth at risk in Metro Vancouver who are living with mental health and addictions challenges will get the counselling support they need and deserve, thanks to continued funding for Dan’s Legacy Foundation.

The Province has allocated $288,000 in grant funding to the foundation. The funding will ensure four of its current therapists, whose positions were made possible by provincial funding in 2018-19, will be able to continue to provide much-needed trauma-based mental health and addictions counselling for youth.

Last year, through previous support from the Province, Dan’s Legacy supported more than 250 youth at risk, doubling its intake from the previous year. Dan’s Legacy expects to work with 350 at-risk youth in 2020.

“Youth at risk who are struggling with mental health and addictions challenges should not have to knock on one door after another to find the help they need,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Our government is working hard to build a full continuum of care for all British Columbians, which includes vital counselling services. I’m so pleased that this funding will help connect youth to a therapist when they are ready, so they can continue on their pathway to healing and hope.”

Funding will be used to improve access to the foundation’s trauma-informed and culturally sensitive counselling services. The services are holistic and combine cognitive behaviour therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy and mindfulness. They also include life-skills workshops on self-regulation, such as diet, exercise and positive thinking.

“We’re working hard to ensure that youth who struggle with mental health and addictions have access to safe and inclusive counselling services, including those through Dan’s Legacy,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development. “We want young people to know it is okay to not be okay, and that when they’re ready, there are supports available to help them get back on their feet and build the future they want and deserve.”

Expanding counselling services is an integral part of A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for making mental health and addictions care better for people in British Columbia. Implementing A Pathway to Hope is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.

Quotes:

Barbara Coates, executive director, Dan’s Legacy Foundation —

“Dan’s Legacy is deeply grateful for the continued financial assistance of the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. Minister Darcy has been unwavering in her support, knowing that funds directed to harm prevention programs like ours have a significant and measurable impact. We routinely see a 50% success rate in helping youth to stabilize after only four months of counselling intervention, reducing the likelihood of life-long mental health issues, justice involvement, entrenched addiction, overdose and suicide.”

Amy Woodward, youth, Dan’s Legacy Foundation —

“Dan’s Legacy is the best place ever. You can get mental health counselling, drug counselling – they even have training to help you get a job. It is the best thing you can ever have. I give it five stars. Everyone should find a way to get help through Dan’s Legacy.”