NDP MLAs Singh and Whiteside say mental health funding for Royal Columbian will ensure youth in crisis have access to support

NEW WESTMINSTER – New Democrat MLAs Aman Singh and Jennifer Whiteside say the expansion of emergency support services at Royal Columbian Hospital for youth experiencing mental health and substance use challenges will provide young people with the help they need at a critical time in their lives.

“When a young person is facing a mental health crisis, having someone reach out and offer support and understanding can make all the difference,” said Aman Singh, MLA for Richmond-Queensborough. “We are expanding this outreach team so more youth can benefit from counselling when they need it most.”

This expansion of free mental health and substance use outreach at Surrey Memorial, Royal Columbian, Burnaby General, and BC Children’s Hospital will be supported through a $1.35 million grant from the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions to Dan’s Legacy Foundation.

“This past year has been especially hard on teens and young adults,” said Jennifer Whiteside, MLA for New Westminster. “Our government is taking action to reduce the barriers for youth to access the mental health and substance use care they need.”

Dan’s Legacy provides trauma-informed and culturally sensitive counselling and wrap-around programming to youth affected by mental health and addictions challenges in Metro Vancouver. This funding will allow Dan’s Legacy to double their counselling and outreach team to a total of ten therapists, two social workers and two youth outreach workers.

Throughout the pandemic, Dan’s Legacy has seen a significant increase in hospitalizations for anxiety, psychosis, overdose and suicide attempts with their youth clients. The Foundation’s counselling services are available for young people 15 to 25 years of age who have experienced trauma and mental health or substance challenges, and their families. In the past four years Dan’s Legacy has helped over 900 youth meet their educational, employment and recovery goals.

Learn More:  https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021MMHA0021-000838