Health Minister Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid announced $500,000 of funding over the next two years to further support Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses in promoting wellness on campuses throughout the province.
Mental illness and problematic substance use affect people and their families from all ages and from all walks of life. About one in five adults in B.C. are affected by mental health or substance use problems over any 12-month period.
In 2010, government released Healthy Minds, Healthy People: A Ten-Year Plan to Address Mental Health and Substance Use in British Columbia. The plan recognizes the unique needs of different population groups and understands these needs change across the lifespan.
The plan provides actions for improving the mental health of all British Columbians. One of these actions is to promote mental health within schools and post-secondary institutions, and encourage the development of lifelong skills, attitudes and healthy behaviours.
Post-secondary students must deal with some major life changes. They may be away from home and family support networks for the first time. Large workloads, lack of rest and strained finances may also cause concern. All of this can negatively affect their mental health or increase alcohol and other psychoactive substance use.
Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses is empowering post-secondary students, faculty, administrators and campus health professionals to work together on mental health and substance use issues. Their goals are to promote good mental health, reduce harmful substance use on campuses - such as binge drinking - and help improve supports for those who experience problems.
Good mental health does not exist in isolation. We all have a stake in promoting good mental health and preventing mental health and substance use problems. All levels of the public and private sectors must work in collaboration with individuals, families and community partners to promote and sustain a mentally healthy population.
The additional $500,000 in provincial funding will further the collaboration in post-secondary communities throughout the province and provide the support networks necessary to help ensure all students in British Columbia reach their full potential.
Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Health -
"By investing a further $500,000 in support of Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses, we are helping to positively shape the lives of post-secondary students throughout British Columbia and further our commitment to improve the lives of all British Columbians affected by mental health or substance use problems."
John Yap, Minister of Advanced Education, Innovation and Technology -
"Entering post-secondary education is a major, life-changing event which can present a range stresses and challenges to new students. Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses is providing the community support and tools needed for all students to achieve their full potential."
Bev Gutray, CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association BC Division -
"Summit 2012 represents an exciting opportunity to have the right players in the same room. Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses ensures that student voice contributes to shaping policies that support mental health and reduce risky substance use on campuses throughout the province."
Dan Reist, assistant director, Knowledge Exchange, Centre for Addictions Research of BC -
"Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses has for several years been a force for promoting mental health and wellness on post-secondary campuses. This year we are excited to roll out a new project to work with interested institutions in developing and testing strategies and tools to support a comprehensive, multi-component approach to substance use. Students, faculty, administrators - everyone has a part to play and they will all be represented at Summit 2012."
- In 2010-11, the ministry spent approximately $1.3 billion on mental health and substance use - an increase of 53 per cent since 2000-01.
- substantial proportion of alcohol consumed in B.C. is drunk in patterns that exceed low-risk drinking guidelines. This is particularly true for younger drinkers.
- About 27 per cent of B.C.'s port-secondary students are considered hazardous drinkers.
- The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children and Family Development released Healthy Minds, Healthy People on Nov. 1, 2010.
- Healthy Minds, Healthy People addresses the unique needs of specific groups of people within the population and the changing needs of individuals across the lifespan.
- Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses is an action of the 10-year plan to promote good mental health, reduce harmful substance use, and support students who experience problems in post-secondary institutions.
- Healthy Minds/Healthy Campuses is a provincewide community of practice that allows members to share their own experiences, discuss strategies, consider new ideas and share resources - all with the goal of promoting wellness on campus.
To learn more about Healthy Minds, Healthy Campuses, visit: www.healthycampuses.ca
For more information on British Columbia's 10-year plan to address mental health and substance use, visit: www.health.gov.bc.ca/healthy-minds/
A backgrounder follows.
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)
Provincial mental health and substance use investments
- Opened the 100-bed Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction in 2008 to treat individuals with severe mental health and substance use problems - the first of its kind in British Columbia.
- Committed $138 million of capital funding to build or renovate mental health facilities in communities in the province as part of the Riverview Redevelopment Project.
- Established Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams to provide individuals with serious and persistent mental illness and substance dependence who have not benefited from traditional models of care with long-term, individualized care in their homes and communities - $7.5 million in provincial funding.
- Accomplishments include:
- Increased the number of adult community mental health beds 91 per cent - from 4,940 beds in 2001 to 9,654 beds as of March 2012.
- Increased the number of community substance use beds 199 per cent - from 874 beds in 2003 to 2,589 beds as of March 2012.
- Increased the number of family doctors providing mental health and substance use services from 4,194 in 2001-02 to 4,774 in 2010-11.
- Increased the number of psychiatrists from 527 in 2001-02 to 694 in 2010-11.
- The first province in Western Canada to have dedicated withdrawal management beds for youth - there are currently 28.
- Opened a $19-million mental health building at BC Children's and BC Women's Hospitals, serving children and adolescents with serious mental health and substance use challenges. The facility also houses a women's reproductive mental health program.
- Invested more than $40 million toward building the province's mental health and substance use research and workforce development capacity at universities and specialized centres throughout the province.
- Invested $10 million to establish the Community Action Initiative. The initiative supports community groups and organizations in B.C. to provide activities and projects that improve mental health and reduce harms related to substance abuse for children, youth and adults.
- The $68.7-million Healthy Families BC strategy supports all British Columbians in achieving better overall health and well-being.
- The Families First Agenda for B.C. is supporting families throughout the province by helping to make life more affordable, support vulnerable families and keep communities safe.
Media Relations Manager
Ministry of Health
250 952-1887 (media line)